10th February 2015
“The End of Admiration: The Media and the Loss of Heroes”
Peter Gibbon, in his article “The End of Admiration: The Media and the loss of Heroes,” after travelling around the United States of America, says New York City’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans has fewer visitors every year compared to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which has over a million visitors annually (247). On one of the scholar’s tour, he contrasts two westerns which are High Noon and Unforgiven (Gibbon 247). High Noon, in 1959, won about four awards while Unforgiven won “best picture” in 1992 (Gibbon 248). The writer says the best-selling postage stamps feature Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, and the most popular TV show is Seinfeld and his point is Americans consider unheroic people to be heroes (Gibbon 248). Thomas Jefferson is known as the president with the slave mistress while Mozart is the careless genius who liked to talk dirty (Gibbon 248). Missionary Position is a recent biography of mother Teresa (Gibbon 248). He tells us, social scientists continuously say human beings are not independent but are controlled by genes and environment. During this time of instant communication, reflection, accuracy, balance are given little time and the media says sleaze is common, nothing is pure, no one is trustworthy, no heroes are present (Gibbon 248).
The author says there is nothing to admire anymore since the invention of television, radio, video tapes, and, the Internet (248). Americans spend most of their time watching television and also television has become the main source of local and national news, causing journalists to be more important and more valued than columnists (Gibbon 249). Gibbon says there were only three channels available previously and now a lot more is available, and people tend to spend a lot of time watching television, computer screens, and less time teaching their children, making them have a limited vocabulary. Having many choices leads to absence of gatekeepers, he says. Parents should acknowledge the risks that come with lots of options with few guides (Gibbon 249). Everyone’s well-being doesn’t depend only on nutrition, sunlight, and exercise but on friendship, work, and love, and also on how we all see the world (Gibbon 249).
The writer says the media is responsible for almost everything we know today as well as what our children know. He also says the media can misinform us and also make us suspicious, fearful, and cynical. The media is responsible for the well-being of our kids and also the information we and our children spread around, therefore, leading to a wired world (Gibbon 249). Americans tell the public the country is in a moral and spiritual decline status but with the use of peace and prosperity, increase in equality and improvements in health, we still focus on the negative, according to the author.
Peter Gibbon says, journalists shouldn’t be blamed because they aren’t the cause of the nation’s failure just as teachers aren’t the cause of poverty and breaking-up of families (250). Journalists shouldn’t be blamed because they are not responsible for satellites or fiber optic cables, neither did they invent the possible instant information nor are the cause of the sexual revolution (Gibbon 250). Journalists have become more powerful than most top people in the society because of the level of information they release to the masses and because they have the power to eliminate privacy and to slander leaders, he says. Journalists are also self-centered people; they do anything for money, some are not trustworthy, and some just make up stories, according to Gibbon. Most write about people’s lives and give interviews to other journalists (Gibbon 250).
Since the discovery of America, reporters are holding several opinions about public figures. George Washington was not a fan of reading...
Cited: Gibbon, Peter H. “The End of Admiration: The Media and the Loss of Heroes.” Perspectives on
Contemporary issues: Reading Across the Disciplines. 7th ed. Ed. Katherine Anne Ackley. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2015. 247-52. Print.
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