“Don’t believe everything that you read in the newspapers.”
In the next seven days, some little kids will be pulled away from their digital devices to participate in a timeless outdoor game that harkens from history: it’s the week for Easter Egg Hunts to be the springtime version of Halloween. Plastic eggs – loaded with candies – that will be hidden in plain sight for the sugar sleuths to discover in their race through the backyard or neighborhood park.
The quote I opened with could be a digital Easter Egg Hunt for big people with Google glasses: who said it, and why?
Let me save you the effort: in the modern era, online investigations can happen with the flick of fingers while waiting for the barista to deliver your caramel macchiato. Search the source on that line; you’ll be directed to Andrew Card – former White House Chief of Staff for Bush 43 – but you’ll find that he’s just a recent reciter of a conclusion reached and reported by competent observers, stretching back into the horizon of history…
Mark Twain said it in his own inimitable way: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” The power of the press goes to the person who owns the press; there is no vetting process that assures that people who control headlines are acting with wholesome objectivity.
These days, there’s no filter: the past’s exclusivity of a printing press has been democratized with blog posts and Twitter feeds. Wackos now have a following who legitimize their potentially corrupting perspectives. In the old days of newspapers, they spewed once-a-day, thrown in the driveway, morning or evening. Today, it’s live-feed, 24/7/365, updating in nanoseconds.
I’ve always lived in Orange County, California. Sixth largest county in America, it’s larger than 21 states. For decades, it was known as a conservative hold-out; a bedroom community to Los Angeles that was more Mayberry than mayhem. The Orange County Register was the locally-owned newspaper and controlled daily influence with a libertarian bent and a local vibe. That was then; this is now…
Yesterday’s Sunday edition of The Register newspaper was a commentary on the culture. April 14, 2019 wasn’t just another day in the year, was it? The “news” would – undoubtedly – memorialize the memorable for the people who look to the headlines to gain focus on the important. Big week ahead?
In the news business, the ultimate lead is always the story that is “front page, above the fold.” What were the compelling teasers that would draw the reader in, to turn the page into the key stories of the day?
In the #1 spot: “Board makers try to catch a green wave.” Story: surfboard companies trying to satisfy the new era demand for biodegradable non-toxic materials. And, the bigger-bolder piece in the same top-of-page territory: “Art in the Desert:” the things happening off-the-stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, happening now. Two consecutive weekends: April 12-14, and 19-21.
Interesting; those are the same weekends in when historic happenings are on some ancient calendars. “Palm Sunday,” “Good Friday,” and “Easter” are overlays. Where are those in the “news”?
In my Sunday newspaper, they were virtual no-shows. Buried in a back section was a half-page article with Easter Brunch options: six SoCal Casinos featured with food explosions next Sunday. One church bought advertising space to promote Holy Week offerings. Apart from them, nothing…
I present to you the secret headline: “The Lord Jesus Christ came to Earth to Save Sinners.” He died and rose again: those events will be highlighted at churches that still feature the Cross, and preach the Gospel of Salvation. Don’t miss it: it’s the biggest – and, best – news ever revealed…