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The Media Circus is Back in Town

A Florida couple was murdered. Their family and friends mourn. Byrd and Melanie Billings were found shot to death in the bedroom of their Beulah, Florida home. Inarguably, it was an outrageous act of perversion. As if the sickness of the crime isn’t adequate in of itself, the media has turned it into a cross between a TV melodrama and a reality show. The true sickness is in the media’s willingness to turn the event into circus proportions and in the American public’s willingness and anxiousness to gobble up every gory detail.

The most egregious instances of the media peddling the disgusting details come from the tabloidal networks masquerading as “news” channels. Not surprisingly, the drivel mongers at FOX News lead the way. I had the ill-fortune of having lunch where FOX was broadcast as if the food wasn’t bad enough already. As I ate, I watched as “Urgent Update” followed “Breaking News” with all the nonsense the dirt hounds could dig up. Based on the extent of the coverage, one could easily have been convinced they were watching the aftermath of the assassination of a major world leader. Michael Jackson was known all over the world. This coverage rivaled Jackson’s and who knew the Billings family outside of Beulah, Florida?

In the time it took me to finish lunch, three Americans were murdered. Nearly 60 Americans are murdered on the average day. Some of these victims left orphans, widows, businesses, employees and were outstanding members of their communities. Yet, where is the coverage of these killings? Why is the Billings family so different from these people? Why are their deaths more tragic that the other 400 plus Americans that were murdered last week?

FOX knows its followers are easily duped and tend to focus on flamboyant, cheap pseudo-news stories. It works well for the bottom line. But on the same day the Billings’ died, Americans died in the Middle East. On that same day, there was major economic news, environmental news, energy news, political news and other developments that promised to have major impacts on the future. The deaths of the Billings’ did not. On the same day, 60 other Americans were murdered. Do you know any of their names?

In Detroit, Nevaeh Buchanan was murdered. Did you know that? She was five years old.

But why did I see a continuous coverage of the killings of one couple in Florida as I ate my lunch? The killers attacked the house dressed like “ninjas”. The victims were southern whites. Who knows? The reality is that many Americans are bottom feeders. They don’t want to confront the difficult, complex issues that are important. They prefer the sensational, bizarre, irrelevant news. And FOX is only too happy to give it to them.

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