23 October 2011

A Rant about the “Public”

One person is smart, people are stupid
If I had written this post a few years ago, I would be blaming the media right now for the views and reactions of the public these days.  But the fact is, the only people we have to blame are ourselves.

I first started to notice the real effect that the media had on the public when Madeleine McCann went missing.  The way her parents were treated in the media was horrific, especially bearing in mind what they were already going through.  But then I stopped to think.

The general public seem to thrive on controversy and “the next thing to rant about”.  The tabloids are obviously selling and writing about what the public want to read about, otherwise they would go out of business, with no papers sold.  So the question is, is it their fault, or our own?

With the whole phone hacking thing, although it was horrible that victims and their families had been hacked, the fact is that it has been going on for years.  People, mainly celebrities, have complained about being hacked for years, but because the public wanted to hear the stories, they didn’t care that how that information was obtained.

I have to wonder then, who really can judge the rights and wrongs of the media.  People in their millions bought and lapped up all the stories of kidnap, murder and sensational stories and in turn, the media are put under increasing pressure to produce those stories. 

Don’t get me wrong, phone hacking is wrong, but the question I have is how much is pressure to produce a factor, bearing in mind the obvious public wanting of these stories.  Shouldn’t we be accountable too?

This post started from watching the XFactor (British) this weekend.  A judge telling a 17 year old girl that she is a bully in front of millions, surely that is bullying in itself?  Because of his comments, the papers pick up on it, no doubt now she will be investigated by the tabloids, every person she has ever known asked for bullying stories, and the public will lap it up.

I was watching the results show and watched in horror when one of the final two was loudly booed.  What right do we have to do that to someone?  They still have feelings, yet it is practically turned into a blood sport without care of who is hurt.

Is that what the general public really have turned into?  A baying crowd, wanting blood and controversy no matter what the price? 

The fact is, the public have turned into sheep.  Following whatever is popular opinion at the moment, always looking for the next thing to get on their soap box about.   This is why I usually don’t watch the reality shows, and why I don’t read the tabloids.

The public need to vote with their feet, if you want news and stories of something more than celebrities, controversy and ripping people to pieces, don’t buy the paper. 

They write what sells, so in the end, the contents of the tabloids is our fault, not theirs.

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