BY JEANETTE LENOIR
Humanity’s woe is the 8th deadly sin named, Media.
Simone Biles pulling out of the Olympics is exactly what media wants. And Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush and the rest of these “talking experts” do their due diligence to speak with double-edged sword tongues, anxiously waiting for a shoe to drop so the real show can begin: riding their media inflicted trauma like the 100 foot wave.
They start with praise; continue with pressure and high expectations, heaping all the weight of the world’s woes and wants on these young athletes. Then when they falter, slip, or aren’t performing perfectly to appease the immense pressure put on them by these “talking experts” … the same “talking experts” benefit. This is what they work for. They benefit from the juicy gossip and lip smacking among the masses that flock to their social media sites to join in and raise their traffic. The ultimate goal of media is your attention. Regardless if the price is the head of their “darling” Simone Biles, a young athlete facing tremendous pressure and scrutiny from the media shredder whose soldiers look like proud dork queen, Hoda Kotb, high-level privileged employee Jenna Bush and the cut-throat, “news” at any price Savannah Guthrie. Desperate to be judged as perfect porcelain and unbothered by Black people’s reality in America, Lester Holt, is equally culpable of inflicting this kind of trauma on people.
Then they all get to post grossly disingenuous images like this IG post from Hoda Kotb feigning support and love for Simone Biles, when all her news crew wanted was this outcome for their own storytelling benefit and ratings. Not all praise is good praise. Some come with gnashed teeth, salivating for the glory that will come with the downfall of an athletes career.
These media people ride your wave up and then celebrate that they get to tell the world that you didn’t live up to expectations. They get to praise and scrutinize these young athletes into mental disorders without impunity. Recent case in point: Naomi Osaka pulling out of the French Open due to the intense media pressure. What happened next–Naomi Osaka vilified in the press–is simply par for their course.
Media loves this traumatic cycle. It keeps NBC in business, Hoda and Jenna paid and Savannah popular among media bosses and shareholders. The media operates as an enemy of We The People, too. And Simone Biles is yet another example and victim of the media business that functions without responsibility as perpetrator, savior and victim. Media must be held accountable for this destructive practice. Man bites dog makes the news. Not because it’s true, but because it’s sensational. And that’s what sells, unfortunately. They work for ratings, not us. The solution? Turn your TV off and accept that each of us carry a responsibility when it comes to our collective humanity. If we want better, we must do better. It starts with acknowledging humanity’s 8th deadly sin is the media that fuels good and bad for profit.