A new graphic from Think Progress shows the incredible misprioritization of the mainstream media’s coverage of programs cut due to this whole sequester nonsense. For some inexplicable reason, cable news outlets have been running numerous stories concerning outrage over the lack of White House tours while completely ignoring sequestration’s cuts to vital programs like Head Start, food stamps, and housing assistance.
While the current lack of availability of White House tours is certainly disappointing for school field trip groups and other vacationers, let’s be real here. Not being able to go on a tour of the White House is merely an inconvenience for those people who can afford to be tourists. If the media wants to whip up outrage over the effects of sequestration, they should take a look at the 800,000 people who will lose their jobs, the schools that are already on bare-bones budgets that have to figure out what other cuts to make without federal aid, the 230,000 people who may lose their homes without housing assistance, or the 600,000 mothers and young children who will no longer be able to receive nutrition assistance from the WIC program.
Why aren’t we devoting screen time to the people whose basic needs will not be getting met because of our dysfunctional Congress? Why do the cable news stations care so much about tour groups and so little about hungry children who will likely become homeless now that their recently-unemployed parents are unable to receive housing assistance? Why aren’t we discussing how poorly we already treat our veterans returning from Afghanistan, who will now receive even less support to help reintegrate them in civilian life?
The “bread and circuses” tactic the Romans used can only survive for so long when the “bread” is gone and only the “circus” remains. We need a responsible media to help bring attention to the real issues that concern Americans, to inspire people to demand their elected officials uphold their duties to serve the populace. Ignorance is not getting us anywhere. Without outrage, there will be no accountability.
It’s not enough for those of us who do care to petition our legislators. We need to petition the media, as well, to encourage these “news” outlets to do their duty to inform and not merely entertain or perform lip service to echo chamber agendas.
Christina Gleason is a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger, although she holds a Master’s degree in Psychology. Her (unprofessional) blog is called Well, in THIS House, formerly known as Cutest Kid Ever. She’s a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, and anxiety. She’s a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Scramble with Friends