I contribute a weekly column to the Platte County Landmark under the “Rambling Moron” name. It’s a great Northland Newspaper and well worth a subscription. The following is an copy of my article which appeared in the 7/22/12 edition – printed with permission.
GO AHEAD, BLAME THE MEDIA
One of my favorite football coaches, Gary Pinkel, recently dug himself into a hole after he answered some questions about Joe Paterno.
Pinkel, an admirer of Paterno’s success as a football coach, told SEC Media Day reporters that Paterno was “a great man” and that Paterno’s actions in not aggressively seeking justice once he was notified of Jerry Sandusky’s actions were “a tragedy.”
Pinkel went on to infer that the media was to blame for the witch hunt against the recently deceased Paterno.
The media – to blame for Paterno, who supervised and was friends with Sandusky.
“Blaming the media” is a common thread for those brought to justice or who have been exposed as frauds. The job of the media is often taken to task – and many times for good reason – for veering from their original purpose. To report news.
So, go ahead, blame the media.
Blame the media for bringing to light the depth and breadth of Sandusky’s transgressions and his ability to use a non-profit organization as a breeding ground for victims.
Blame the media for seeking documents from Penn State University that showed the full picture of how Sandusky’s buddies covered for him so that he could continue his disgusting acts against the innocent.
Blame the media for blanketing Twitter and the Internet for information related to the disappearance of two Edgerton girls. While the media was unable to stop their terrible murders, they were able to shed light on the accused murderer and what tremendous lives were cut down in their prime.
Blame the media, Russ Ptacek in fact, for exposing how toxic chemicals may have been exposed to workers at the Bannister Federal Complex.
Blame the media for reporting that at the beginning of last year, the Kansas City Chiefs were going to charge firefighters and first responders money for the honor of holding an American Flag during pre-game festivities at a Chiefs game.
Blame the media for posting police blotters in papers – because the thought of showing up in one just might be what stops a drunk driver from killing someone. Even if it’s just once. It’s saved a life.
Blame the media for being vigilant, every day, holidays, Sundays, nights, weekends and even early mornings to report the truth about the good, the bad, the ugly and – most importantly – the criminals. Even if it’s just that a kangaroo escaped on a cold Thanksgiving morning.
Finally, blame the media for speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. For those innocent children being abused.
Blame the media for reporting via paper, video, e-mail, blog and tweet. Oh sure, journalism has changed through the years. It’s gotten quicker and there’s a whole lot more bubble gum.
An article on Lindsay Lohan changing her hair color will get thousands of more hits on a website than an in-depth article about a man with ties to a white supremacist group running for a local school board. But that doesn’t mean it’s more important.
Blame the media for that, too, I suppose.