The Thin Line between Satire and Misinformation

The Deseret News coverage of Stephen Colbert’s report of “Yahweh or No way, Mormons and God’s polling numbers” had, in my mind, a perfect introduction. It reads “When it comes to comedy, the line between satire and misinformation can be a thin one.” The article then talks about the coverage of the Obama Administration using the word ‘weird’ against the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign.

At first, Colbert seemed a little defensive of the LDS church, and how inaccurate ad misleading the word ‘weird’ is in a professional sense. Then his satire gets more dense as he starts to hamper on the LDS church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign in their PR department. It is still visible that Colbert is trying to be a balanced; but it becomes more obvious that he is more critical of the campaign of the church than he is defending Obama’s “weird” notion of the Presidential campaign.

Of course Colbert is slightly biased in his criticisms and comments, but he mentioned that he was Catholic, and for me that stabilized his credibility to even be addressing a religious subject. There are biases in all things, but this one in particular seemed to be just poking fun and making a joke.

The Deseret News coverage on the piece was a little more geared towards the inaccuracy of his comments and outside opinions of those who also had some sort of literacy into the situation.

The Everyday Morals we Ignore

Sometimes we forget that we are surrounded by violations of our moral beliefs as Christians and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For example, I show up to Albertsons, Walmart, etc. and I am waiting in line to check out. I see a flood of Magazines with titles like “Kim’s 10 ways to feel sexy!” or “Insider’s look into the Taylor & Hiddleston breakup!” or “Exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie  reveals the reason behind the divorce”.

For some reason, it has become the American public’s ‘duty’ or ‘daily scoop’ to be a part of the lives of celebrities or be a part of the gossip that the Media is framing for us to be ‘in touch with the world/society’. There is a difference between subscribing to those magazines and subscribing to other magazines like Better Home and Gardens.  The magazines that seem to fuel the American public with the “inside scoop” on quite literally stranger’s lives are also crossing the line of human privacy and specifically our moral standpoint on pornography. Is there such thing anymore anyway with Target’s transgender bathrooms? We see these everywhere. We see immodest swimsuit pictures on the front page, we see suggestive poses on Billboards, the list goes on.

The question is- has anyone ever questioned the morality of these portrayals? It is different if the person themselves are posting inappropriate pictures, but our society doesn’t seem to be bothered by all of the immorality that is shoved in our face. Regardless of religion or religious standpoint, I think that these issues need to be addressed in some manner by our society.

Lights, Camera… is everyone okay?

Live television takes a huge risk with anything. The fact that QVC managed to mess it up with a ladder commercial means that it could get messed up with just about anything anyone is trying to do. If your an anchor man/woman and you’re trying to give a soft story at the end of the day about a charity for kids like ‘Toys for Tots’ you could lose a large portion of your audience if you say the wrong name,  say something vulgar like (‘toys and tits’), or in any ways suggest that the organization is not really worth anyone’s time.

For example, if those hoverboard things that got super popular around last year made a video montage of all the people who had hurt themselves or fallen off of it, they might be out of business. It is so common to see accidents like this anyway- like a news reporter gets hit with a mailbox in a hurricane or something it might turn to bad PR on that news organization.

Live television with advertising is a huge risk in general- but it appears so much more than we think.

How the Internet will Transform the Government

This TED talk was done by Clay Shirky, a media expert.  TED talk by Clay Shirky

The talk was basically about the open source programming and the ramifications of it. I thought it was interesting that he said ‘cooperation without coordintation’ and how the US Tax laws are all so dependent upon each other and that is how democracy is being affected by it. He talked about how we are coming up with newer ways to argue- and if they are better or not.

On a side note, Shirky mentioned that  “More Media means more arguing” and that really provoked thinking for me, because that really all depends on how people use media; and in this statement he is implying that people use it not as a healthy debate but as a stoning grounds where they can just voice their opinion and throw stones at any differing ones.  He mentioned that people post things thinking  “this will be good for democracy” (referring to democratic debate) but since those people are not using the media for useful and uplifting purposes then we are one unrighteous generation.