Seriously Folks?

Whether one agrees with terms such as fake news, alternative facts, liberal bias, left-wing propaganda, right-wing propaganda, or fair and balanced, most people capable of comprehending the English language realize journalistic standards are a thing of yesteryear. It is unlikely journalism was ever as fair and balanced or truly objective as some would like to think. There were, after all, human beings involved in reporting the news, and objectivity is not humanity’s strong-suit.

With that said, the half-time show for the prime-time example of team somnambulism, Super Bowl LIII, provided an outrageous example of the depths to which the media will descend in 2019. Before the event, I hate to call it a game, there was a constant barrage of “will they” or “won’t they” concerning half-time. After the event, reporters, pundits, and others hyped, twisted, and ranted about one facet or another of the matchup, musical performances, and the question of Tom Brady appearing to plant one on Robert Kraft’s lips.

About here, you might be saying to yourself, “What’s the big deal? The media always tries to turn an event into a circus if possible.” Of course, you would be correct in some ways, but in one way you may be missing a matter of concern. The United States, and possibly much of the world, is now occupied by human beings who are incapable of displaying one iota of common sense.

I know! That last sentence sounds a bit extreme. Still, I feel there is ample reason to believe it is indeed the case. Consider one of the hottest topics of discussion from the halftime show. That would be, of course, Adam Levine’s nipples.

Yes, if you fell asleep during the most boring Super Bowl in history and are finally waking up, Adam took off his shirt. In doing so, he created a stir and controversy the likes of which has not been heard since a past president swore he did not have sex with “that woman.”

After all, Adam intentionally removed his shirt, displaying his tats and breast for all to see. Poor Janet Jackson, according to one post, was “blackballed” for her “accidental” wardrobe malfunction during a half time show fourteen years ago. How could life, and the NFL, be so unfair and discriminatory!

According to multiple online news sources, social media “blew up” with outrage over Levine’s antics. I suppose that might be true if one considers a handful of tweets shared in the multiple posts citing one entertainment article covering the matter constitutes “blowing up.” Still, the very fact multiple sources repeated the story, and it was prominently displayed on various online news homepages means someone thought it was of significant interest.

In some ways, it is easy to see why people writing for the plethora of so-called news outlets competing for the browsing public’s attention would find the story newsworthy. What other story of the day would allow one to write copy mentioning, Adam Levine, Janet Jackson, the Super Bowl, and breasts in a few hundred words? Oh, yes! That piece would also allow the writer to express the outrage everyone should feel over the disparate treatment of public breast bearing by individuals based on their gender.

Seriously! It is easy to understand why someone would write an article or post of discussing Adam’s showcasing of this tats and his abs. Since he and Maroon 5 refused to turn their part of the half-time show into a political statement as many hoped, this gave writers something to say, which brings me to the alleged tweets and posts disparaging Levine for his actions.

Were those reported posts truly the spontaneous commentary of startled fans? If that is true, it says more about society than the state of journalism in the country today. One would hope these posts were more professional or volunteer trolls hoping to stir the pot to achieve fifteen seconds of internet fame or increase their followers.

It is possible some otherwise rational individuals would take offense at the acceptance of Adam’s topless performance due to some warped sense of equal rights. It is possible, but the idea that others would take those people seriously enough to repeat their comments is scary.

On the other hand, one has to hope the comment, “Now I have to explain to my children that adam levine [sic] has nipples,” was an attempt at satire. If that person was serious, parenthood is in more trouble than journalism. Unless of course, those children have never been to the beach, a swimming pool, or seen “The Jungle Book.”

© – 2019

About S. Eric Jackson

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