The Cost of Crying Wolf

Across this planet we’re all caught up in the Coronavirus pandemic. If you’re human and alive, this is your war as much as it is anyone else’s. In no way am I making light of the danger we’re facing. In no way am I suggesting we shouldn’t be taking it seriously or how you should handle following the criteria to “flatten the curve” as this medical disaster swarms our land’s citizens.

What’s making things harder to navigate isn’t a new issue.  Let’s be real.  We just don’t know who to trust, do we?

Can’t trust those saturated in their own power so much they believe they are above the laws they create.  Who abuse those powers seeking, truthfully, to be the ones lining their safety deposit boxes and controlling every America’s life.

Can’t trust the “experts” who can’t make up their minds about how the virus is spread, how to prevent it’s spread, how to treat those who have COVID-19 and of course, whether or not wearing a face mask helps or aids in the prevention of contamination.  They don’t really know and many times they will tell you they don’t know and some arrogant reporter or self-serving politician keeps asking them for their expert opinion.  

Which brings me to one group of people we really can’t trust.  The media.  Mainstream.  Online.  Underground.  They remind me of the fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. 

It’s plot is fairly straight forward.  A young lad was assigned to shepherd the sheep for the entire village in a nearby field.  It wasn’t too isolated for the villagers could hear him call for help.  But the boy was bored.  He began pranking the villagers. 

Three times he called for help.  The wolf had come to take the sheep.  Three times everyone dropped their jobs and chores racing to his rescue.  Every time he laughed at them. After the third time he tricked them he was told  no one would come if he called again.

The wolf who had witnessed it all, came out shortly after the villagers left.  He did take the sheep.  The boy did call for help.  No one showed up to assist him.  He was missed when night fell and he didn’t show up for supper.

Some men went looking for him.  The fable’s ending varies through the years.  In some the wolf has eaten him.  Others the villagers find him alone, crying and miserable.  In some they locate the sheep the next day.  In others the sheep are lost forever.  When the boy is found alive he has learned the harsh reality of what happens when you lie to people.  

Sure wish the media would learn this lesson.

Some people in the journalism profession itself saw this day coming.  One was the dean of our hall of journalism at the university I attended.  

At the end of my education the dean saw me in the hallway.  He demanded to speak to me and I agreed.  Then loud enough that anyone else in the hall could have heard, he angrily informed me I didn’t have the heart to be a journalist.  He had a list of reasons why. 

My plan to be a missionary journalist was ridiculous.  I couldn’t get past the truth of a persons whole life to write a piece designed to shred their professional, private, and community life.  He said, “You really expect to look at all sides of something.  That doesn’t make for a good journalist.”

I was stunned.  If the profession he described was the one I’d spent all this time learning about it didn’t describe one I was any longer sure I wanted to work in.  I never worked on a newspaper. 

Except for editing pages of ads for a company that published thousands of newspapers for churches, a dozen attempts at novels, ten years spent doing every aspect of monthly church newsletters and weekly bulletins; for over ten years and the same ten plus years doing weekly bulletins (writing the copy, layout, everything) I have never used that journalism degree.  Though that does sound closer to my original goal.

Yes, the question has crossed my mind, that life altering moment.  But at the end of that road, I don’t see me being in a place I would like myself very much if I had determined to prove that professor wrong.  And now, as media, reporters, lie mongers prevail in the journalism industry, I’m embarrassed by them.  There seems to be little if any sign of the truth being sought.   

I see instead the main stream media filled with journalists, reporters, writers who feeds off the pain of people, who can’t be trusted to report the truth, whose sources are “anonymous” who turn around to be “anonymous sources” who confirm their own lies?  

Who, in this day, trusts what mainstream media or special interest online sources report?  I don’t.  They are the boy who cried wolf.  Lie repeatedly and even when caught, refuse to set the record straight.  They take joy at ripping a person’s life, family, career, soul apart for something they know are lies.  Furthermore, they often include the lives of everyone around them.

I’m really glad now, I took the other road.  I’d rather keep trying to be a author who writes, even if I’m never published, than a liar who reports but  who has lost their own humanity.


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