Our mass media-driven culture has ushered in a unique era that boasts an unrelenting and instantaneous flow of information. There are many advantages to having quick, easy access to the entire world, and I would never suggest going back to the way things were. However, good things can be and almost always are abused, and I’m concerned that we’ve allowed our media fixation to give rise to an obsession with scandal—at the expense of maintaining focus on what’s truly important.
I didn’t even want to mention the scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, but I find that it’s the most relevant example to underscore my point. Before I continue, though, I want to get something out in the open: What Congressman Weiner did is horrible, I’m glad the media reported it, and I think he should be held accountable.
My observation, however, is that we’ve been so wrapped up in the story about one congressman that we’ve become distracted. Our country is in a bad place. Mounting debt, out-of-control spending, attacks on life and family, and countless other serious problems have us headed down a destructive path. If we don’t get our priorities straight, and soon, we’ll end up cutting off our nose to spite our face. We’ll be satisfied that a wayward congressman is gone, but then realize that our culture and government are exactly where we left them.
We won’t end up in this place as a result of one distraction, of course, but as a result of several distractions one after the other. Instead of using mass media to feed our addiction to scandal, we need to harness the powerful tools afforded to us—particularly the internet—to educate ourselves, share important information with others, speak the truth, and work to bring about a spiritual, cultural and political revolution. Disgraced politicians are temporary trouble. A demoralized and debt-ridden America is the real threat.