I have a hate-hate relationship with much of the media. Too many so-called journalists have forgotten what it means to “report” the news. Instead, they try to “frame” it if we’re lucky. In too many cases, they try to make the news. Then there are those who just flat lie about what goes on. An article in this morning’s paper falls into the category of a so-called reporter getting his feelings hurt and using his column to try to “frame” and attack someone who dared make him change his plans for the afterlife.
First of all, this is our so-called consumer reporter. He’s done a lot of good over the years pointing out scams and getting folks help. But something’s happened during Covid. He’s decided to use his consumer column for more than that. Today’s column is just the latest in the series of “WTF?!?” I’ve felt when reading it.
At least he telegraphed what sort of article it was going to be from the very beginning. He didn’t get his way, wasn’t getting to do what he wanted and he didn’t like it. Oh, he tried to add a little “humor” to it, but that fell flat, especially as I read on.
Long story short, he liked this historic cemetery in a nearby town. For close to 30 years, he’d been attending the cemetery association meetings and planned on being buried there when he died. Okay, so far, so good. Right?
The trouble came along when a local church went to the city council to ask permission to expand the church. In the course of all this, the pastor of the church and his membership attended the open meeting for the cemetery association, joined it and basically took over. Probably not the first time this happened and there’s nothing to prevent someone else from doing the same thing. But our intrepid consumer reporter was pissed–although he wouldn’t admit to that level of emotion–because he was told he wasn’t on the board any longer (or something like that).
Here’s where the issue comes in. You see, this fellow decided he wanted to be buried in this cemetery. He’d been promised he could be. He might even have a “contract”. But once these evil Baptists came in and took over, they told him he’d have to–gasp–buy a plot. How dare they!
Now, this is where all my questions came into play and, gee, his article didn’t address any of them. Instead, he went on to report on how the pastor showed up to the city council meeting in a flannel shirt and puffer vest. He talked how “most of his nearby neighbors” objected to expanding the church. However, for a reporter, especially a consumer reporter who has spent decades preaching specificity in terms, he was surprisingly vague. How many were “most of his nearby neighbors” and just how nearby were they? Was there a dress code for the meeting–no–or was the pastor dressed substantially different from most others who attend city council meetings?
Then there was his comment that back in 1993 (or thereabouts) when he first attended a cemetery association meeting, the area wasn’t “suburbia”. Give me a break. I’ve lived in the DFW area most of my life. The town he’s talking about was a “suburb” in the 1960’s. By the 1990’s it was one of the growing, most desired cities between Dallas and Fort Worth. It most definitely was part of suburbia. To illustrate this, in 1992, the current high school was built–and it was designed to be the crown jewel of high schools in the area. It was what every district wished it could afford.
And let’s not forget about that promise he’d be able to be buried in the cemetery. Remember, we’re talking about a consumer advocate and reporter (and I use that term loosely). You’d think he’d have wanted a legally binding contract to make sure he and his loved ones had plots in this cemetery where he could spent eternity. You’d think, if he had such a legally binding contract, he would have presented it to the minister, the cemetery association, etc., instead of taking to his newspaper to drive public opinion against not only the minister and church but the city as well for approving the church expansion–that isn’t moving or closing the cemetery and that isn’t taking money from the cemetery association. All it does is letting them build a bigger church.
But noooo. We don’t get that in the article. We get a man who’s pissed and not wanting to say so because he isn’t getting his way. He has a platform and is willing to use it instead of doing what the rest of us have to if we want to be buried–buy and plot and actually have a contract for it.
This is the attitude I see in too many so-called reporters these days. They don’t like a politician? They use their platform against him instead of actually reporting the facts. They feel slighted about something, hit piece here they come.
And these same reporters and their bosses then wonder why Americans no longer trust the media like it used to and why they aren’t subscribing to local papers like before. Give us a reason why we should trust you. Show us fair and unbiased reporting. Don’t try to “educate” us. Don’t use TASS and Pravda as your examples of how to manipulate the public.
Okay, maybe this was a rant after all. Guess I should have had that second cup of coffee before trying to blog this morning.