Got a problem? Blame it on the media


- Editor
Monday, Nov. 09, 2009

Blaming it on the media is not exactly a groundbreaking strategy. It's been around at least since Gutenberg, probably longer. And, heck, it fools some of the people some of the time.

Too much violence? Blame it on the media.

According to studies (widely distributed by the media), an American child witnesses more than 200,000 acts of televised violence before turning 18. And even if the studies are a little dated and don't account for video games, blaming it on the media is probably a better bet than the Twinkie defense.

Too many of us don't like our bodies? Blame it on the media.

I thought that was all on Barbie, Twiggy and fashion models in general. Maybe on pro wrestlers or hulked-up baseball and football players, particularly if you were a skinny kid who actively considered buying the mail-order exercise equipment advertised in the back of comic books. But, no, it's the media putting all those images out there where we can see them.

Too many right-wing or left-leaning zealots running civil discourse right out of town? Blame it on the media.

No argument there.

And now the media are at fault for really fouling things up in stock car racing. Their rampant irresponsibility has even managed to irk NASCAR management and at least one of the independent contractors who participates in NASCAR events.

Restive fans? Too few of them buying tickets? Too few of them tuning in? And too many of those who do tune in concluding that a NASCAR race was – GASP! – boring? Blame it on the media.

It's apparently OK for TV analysts to get all analytical – just as long as the tone is positive and the subject matter sufficiently distant from headquarters. And writers? They're just around to help promote "the sport," publicize events and help sell stuff, right?

We're not talking "60 Minutes" here! So stop the hard questioning and analyzing and, for goodness sakes, saying that a NASCAR race was – GASP! – boring.

Because until you do, we're going to blame it all on the media.

That may or may not be what the NASCAR brass and a leading owner/driver believe deep down in their hearts. But I do believe blaming the media is the perfect strategy for them.

I've worked in a few branches of the media for three decades or so. And, they're right, some of us are downright despicable. Not all, certainly, but surely enough of us that NASCAR can make its case.

Some might have been inspired by "All the President's Men," but more of us got all fired up by "The Front Page." And some simply wanted to be like Les Nessman, the no-holds-barred newsman on "WKRP in Cincinnati," when we grew up. Like that was ever going to happen.

See how easy it is to blame it on the media?