Once known as the Fourth Branch of government, the news media outlets in the United States have seemingly abandoned their mantle as the nation’s watchdog. They have traded their responsibility to shine a light on corruption in favor of promoting their firmly held ideologies that are often racially charged, globally dedicated, and politically liberal. The NY Times’ slogan of “All the News That’s Fit to Print” may have earned it well-deserved respect in the past, but now-a-days it is as irrelevant as the paper itself. In the week following the devastation experienced in America’s heartland by an estimated 30 tornadoes on March 7th, hardly a word has been written nationally. Certainly such a catastrophe should qualify as “…News That’s Fit to Print.”
Midwestern tornadoes and disaster areas
While the wall of tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois, the community of Oak Grove, Missouri with its 8,052 residents was the hardest hit. Out of the estimated 2,894 households, 483 homes, along with 10 to 12 commercial buildings were either completely demolished or severely damaged. Fortunately, no loss of life was reported. The tornadoes in Smithville, Missouri claimed another 60 to 70, followed by dozens more in Leawood & Olathe, Kansas, not to mention the overturned planes at the Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kansas, and still more homes in St. Louis, Plattsburg, and Lathrop, Missouri, as well as Muscatine and Clinton City, Iowa.
Although the American Red Cross of Western Missouri, branches of Catholic Charities, and Multi Agencies Rescue Center all helped with rescue and supply efforts, the community of Oak Grove remains devastated and beyond the help these organizations have rendered. For those inclined to help, the First Baptist Church, located at 400 SE 14th Street, Oak Grove, 816-690-3233 is coordinating greatly needed humanitarian efforts of all kinds. If you can’t volunteer or donate food or supplies, please consider writing a check, but absolutely pray. Pray for the victims of this catastrophe and pray for America and her disturbing ignorance about much needed humanitarian efforts.
Where are the media?
Although America’s appetite for “trumped-up” fake news instead of real news is a possible contributor for the lack of real news reporting, the buck stops with those who have taken on the pretense of reporting what Americans need to be informed about. One can only speculate as to why, but perhaps the current witch hunt being conducted against the Trump Administration will not allow the publishing of any print competition. Other factors may be that the tornadoes were racially neutral and lacked thugs like Michael Brown or Travon Martin to martyr.
Regardless of the motives for ignoring such a tragedy, it is truly unfortunate that such scenarios are credible in today’s America. However, it bears mentioning that the demographics of the affected areas may hold clues as why there is an apparent lack of coverage. For instance, Oak Grove is a middle class community with a respectable $62,239 average household income. It is 94.5% white and exists within a state that shifted Republican in 1996. In Missouri, Republicans control 6 out of 8 of the state’s legislative seats and has a mere 10 electoral votes.
The wrong demographic
While Democrats like Senator Claire McCaskill are still elected, the aging population that tends to vote Republican doesn’t demand much respect from the national leftist media outlets. The tornadoes of March 7th may have physically assaulted this small American town, but her demographics may well have silenced the voices that should have been broadcasting her need. And so, communities in need, like Oak Grove, remain off the pages of America’s press and absent from the psyche of most Americans. Out of sight, out of mind may hold true in many instances, but if you have read this piece, consider yourself informed. As we saw with the election of Donald J. Trump, America is capable of rising above propaganda moguls to do the right thing. May she once again prevail and unite to help our fellow Americans who are in desperate need.
Reprint from The Daily Rant, copyright 2017 Mychal Massie, by permission
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