As much as I admire our new President, I’m unsure whether to watch his address to the nation tonight.  Why? 

Because I’m sick and tired of hearing  what a horrible crisis we’re in, how the country is facing unprecedented challenges, how we all need to pull together to avoid a national disaster.

I’m certainly not blaming Mr. Obama for this situation, or  for all the negative vibrations circulating through the atmosphere.   This mess was handed to him on a lovely silver platter (mostly courtesy of the Bush family and their Republican relatives).  I am, however, pointing a big, fat finger at the news media which has been feasting  like a school of hungry sharks on the current economic downturn.  The spirit of this nation is at a mighty low ebb, and every television, newspaper, and radio station seems to have made keeping us there the top priority.   Even commercials aren’t immune…have you seen the Target commerical offering do-it-yourself alternatives for everything from pedicures to pet grooming? Sure, go ahead and DIY…put all the nail techs and pet groomers out of work too.

While I’m not downplaying the very real troubles the nation faces, I am exhorting the media to take responsibility for improving morale rather than continue to beat us all with the “dire straits” stick.   It has become exceedingly clear exactly how much power the media wields in this nation, and with power comes responsibility to use it for good.  Does the continual barrage of bad news really serve the national interest?   Could we begin to focus on some positive outcomes?    How about using all those collective  smarts to come up with some ideas for creating new jobs and industry?

Frankly, every time I hear a tag line which includes the words “national economic crisis” or asks “has American seen better days?” I feel my stomach start churning.  Defeatist jargon and alarmist rhetoric will get us nothing but a nationwide epidemic of ulcers.

Just this week, I’ve seen a few new stories about the booming movie business here in Detroit.  Several new productions houses are in the works, huge ground floor up facilities, that will require the labor of  designers, contractors, electricians, not to mention food crews and housing facilities.  Today’s Detroit News had a (teeny tiny) front page story announcing that Detroit was listed as one of the top 12 cities in which to make a film.  

There’s some good news for this old town, folks.  

There has to be some more of that out there somewhere. 

Of course, it’s easier for the media to capitalize on all the gloom and doom.  There are plenty of people only too willing to talk about it, whether it’s affected them personally or not.   

 I’m proposing we band together as “Citizens Against Negativity”, and tell them to CAN-it.   Until they do, I’m declaring a moratorium on reading/listening/watching any news programming. 

When it comes to using the power of the media, we CAN DO a lot better than this.

Postscript:  I did watch Obama’s speech last night, and was rewarded once again by his erudition and elegance.   I was pleased that he referred to other times in American history when the country has faced greater challenges and risen above them thanks to ingenuity and imagination.  We need to be reminded of that.  Let the rest of the media take a lesson. 


9 thoughts on “CAN-it

  1. Pingback: Ain’t ‘a That Good News « Write On Wednesday

  2. I thought there was much good news in his speech last night. I agree that it’s all hard to listen to the gloom and doom, but there are so many people out there in denial about it all, especially about the things we ALL need to do to keep our planet and country green and safe. My grandkids are a big inspiration to keep me going because I don’t want to leave them “my mess.” I think a big help would be to have a Good News program on every night so that we can hear stories about that banker in Georgia who turned around and gave his big bonus to all of his employees. We need to hear more of that along with the bad stuff.

  3. I agree, but I’m glad President Obama believes that we’re smart enough to be communicated with and included in his visions and that he solicits feedback.

    I didn’t see the speech last night, for a variety of reasons, but it was good to hear the commentary after.

    Where my DH works at U of M they’re filming Betty Waters right now.

  4. I agree with you Becca. My daughter just got hired in management at a new Lowes. Go Lowes! I didn’t watch because, although he is eloquent, it’s the same message. He needs time to make this work.


    Happy belated birth day mom. 🙂

  5. As so often happens when I visit, I so agree with you — both about the speech, which I did watch — and the idea of the negativity bringing us all down even more than we might already be. Wayne Dyer has this saying “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” and I’m wondering if the collective could take a different look at the economy and world situation — celebrate the small miracles (Go, Detroit!) and approach things from the light instead of the dark, if it might not change. Maybe, maybe not. But at least it may not feel quite so grim…

    Of course, it’s easier to say that when I’m relatively secure. Still…

  6. I really enjoyed this post! Like you, I get fed up with the media’s need to sensationalize everything. Mostly, I never even watch the news…

    I’m thrilled to learn about Detroit though! 🙂

  7. Another post where every bit of me just goes YES! You’ve just described one reason we don’t get television reception. Glad to hear, though, about Obama’s speech; and great news about Detroit!

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