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The Media Is Broken – It's Time to Fix It

Our nation is at a crossroads, and the media has been leading the march into our self-imposed destruction for too long.

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I want my country back – and I think many Americans are with me. In an election year, it's common to hear politicians recite the "Washington is broken" mantra. I think it's time every one of us adopts a new mantra, recites it often, and insists on real hope and change where it matters most – America's news outlets, the media. I'm suggesting a new mantra for all of us 2018, and here it is: the media is broken; it's time to fix it. If there is any hope of getting our nation back on track, the media needs a thorough house cleaning. Most "news" stories focus on what causes fear, who's famous, what may be funny, and all the kinds of things that grab people's attention – but do little more than raise our blood pressure. Our nation is polarized more than ever – and much of the media is responsible for the division.

Every American should insist that the media stop focusing on sugar and spice and start zeroing in on what's really important to the American people who are in the trenches of real life, not the virtual world that seems to be the dangerous rudder of what makes news these days. The media needs to be held accountable, and that accountability is best provided by the average American who finally says, "enough," and is willing to do something about it by standing up and speaking out against the misinformation, bias and sensationalism that is ripping our country apart at the seams.

Michael Anthony
Michael Anthony

Instead of starting fires and dousing them with gasoline, people in the media need to start focusing on the kinds of stories we should all care about – and they need to craft those stories in ways that don't pervert the truth. In many instances, the media reports a valuable story, but tells the story in ways that are so biased they turn potentially good stories into sordid ones. The media is broken; it's time to fix it.

Take the illegal immigration debate. It's a fact that over ninety percent of all foreign nationals incarcerated in federal prisons got into the United States illegally. Imagine that? Someone who came here illegally actually did other illegal things that got them thrown into prison. What a shocker, right? I mean why would anyone presume that coming to a nation illegally would be an indication of the moral character of that individual? Why, how could it possibly be that the two are related? Tell me, do you keep your doors unlocked when you go to bed? Do you lock your car doors when going shopping? Why, then, the illogic when it comes to protecting the American family from people who will resort to illegal means to get here? We don't have an immigration problem in America. We have an illegal immigration problem.

Did you know that it costs between $30-60,000 a year to keep one person in a federal prison? If most foreign nationals in federal prison are here illegally why is someone called a racist or bigot for being concerned? How dare anyone suggest that someone concerned with securing the border is a bigot, a racist. Seems to me like it's a matter of common sense, if for no other reason the sheer financial soundness of such a priority. Does money grow on trees? Should my children be responsible for irresponsible policies and poor oversight that allows criminals to come into America and be fed, sheltered and cared for at taxpayer expense. But much of the truth about border security is either neglected or twisted toward a liberal, undermining basis. The media is broken; it's time to fix it.

Look around and you will see so much bias in the media that it should be obvious the heart of the American problem is not merely crooked politicians but a crooked media. But that leads us to a deeper problem, which is the detachment of the average Joe. If America is going to be saved, it's going to take Americans who really care, change their course, and demand we stop doing things as we have, for so long. Those in the media need to insist on true objectivity from their own ranks. Those outside the media need to call media outlets and personnel on the carpet when their reporting ranks.

The media is broken; it's time to fix it. The way we fix a broken media is by humbly – and unapologetically – demanding reform. Our nation is at a crossroads, and the media has been leading the march into our self-imposed destruction for too long. Let's make 2018 the year we turn things around by holding the media accountable to new standards that are really old standards it's forsaken. Truth and integrity need to be revived. That charge begins with you and me.

Michael Anthony is the author of the book A Call For Courage: Living With Power, Truth, and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear, a speaker and blogger (CourageMatters.com), and lead pastor of Grace Fellowship in York, Pa. His opinions expressed in this piece are his own.

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