When you get enough of something, it is often hard to restrain yourself. It continues to frustrate me when people jump on the media bashing band wagon. I cannot decide if some people really are easily influenced or they choose to be ignorant of the facts.

For four years, people in this country were told multiple times a day that the media were “an enemy of the state”, and everything they reported was “fake news.”

Unfortunately, it created a faction of society that would only believe his words over those who would question his version of the facts and had the courage to speak out.

Only now are some who were victims of his unquestionable loyalty requirement regretting their choice.

Each day journalists across the globe put themselves in all kinds of situations. They do this as a means of providing valuable information to the public.

It is the media’s job to ask questions of our politicians, even if they are uncomfortable ones. They do this because you, the public, have a right to know what the people whom you elected and represent you are up to.

Being a member of the media is not an easy job. It is sort of like parenting, meaning it is often a thankless job.

But is a necessary one.

Journalists and photographers often put themselves in harm’s way, so you get the facts instead of some “official statement” that was created by those who want to limit what you know.

Last year, during the racial injustice protests, reporters and photographers who were sent to present the coverage were treated with disrespect. They were shot with rubber pellets and pepper sprayed even though they were clearly wearing press credentials.

These are the kind of conditions we have witnessed in third world countries for years.

Blaming the media has become a national pastime.

Statements about the media being biased, unreliable or dishonest are an everyday occurrence now. It is almost as if they believe if they keep repeating it, it will become the truth.

Media folks should be considered First Amendment responders.

And yet they have been blamed for such things as dividing our country, failed political policies and even exaggerating the pandemic numbers.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing scrutiny regarding his handling of information related to COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents in his state.

One of Cuomo’s top aides reportedly admitted he underreported the deaths. Cuomo had reportedly initiated a policy in March that directed nursing homes in the state to accept patients who had or were suspected of having the virus.

There are claims that his policy led to the deaths of numerous elderly patients.

Instead of accepting responsibility for a bad decision or even apologizing, Cuomo immediately blamed the media for “unwarranted political attacks” on him.

The truth is the media did their job by reporting on the details that were of interest to thousands of families. None of their reporting has yet proven to be inaccurate, but they are somehow to blame.

Last week, the chameleon senator from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz took a little trip to sunny Cancun, Mexico. Now while this terribly busy man might need a break from his ‘suck up to Donald Trump’ time while continuing with his “stop the steal” duties, it might not have been the best time to vacation.

A winter weather disaster was happening in Texas. It was the kind of storm that left millions without power or water. As his constituents back in Texas were suffering from the lack of heat or drinking water, Cruz was sunning himself at a luxurious resort.

After a photograph of him lounging by the pool went viral, things heated up for him in frigid Texas. Cruz jumped on the next plane and made his way home.

Even though he reluctantly admitted his timing was “obviously a mistake”, it was still the media who was at fault. Cruz claimed the “media is going crazy and there is a lot of venom and vitriol” out there.

Just a word of advice. If you do not want to get caught with your pants down in a snowstorm, then keep them on. Do your job and respect the people who elected you.

There is a funny thing about the truth. It always makes it way to the top.

Most people can differentiate when reading something that is clearly intended to influence you and the simple facts as they relate to certain incidents.  If not, it is important you learn the difference because it could result in being beneficial to you as a reader.

Regardless of the criticisms, media who report on the events of the day, continue to prove they are a key element in our fundamental right to know.

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

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