Ricci Levy

Georgetown, symbols and the media

Filed By Ricci Levy | April 20, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Georgetown, Jesus, media, President Obama, symbols

I'm sitting here shaking my head over the "situation" at Georgetown University. You know the one - it's been on the news cycle and in lots and lots of online media - about how the university covered up the symbol that represented the name of Jesus. [Here's Media Matters on the issue, contrasting with Fox News. -Ed.]

Here's my issue. How many people know what Obama said when he spoke at Georgetown? I had to actually Google the speech to find out because all I got from the media was the issue of the covered symbol.

I understand all about the 24/7 news cycle and how they have to fill air time. And I understood, under Bush, why people got so invested in minutia rather than the really big issues of the day. When you feel helpless and afraid it's not unusual to focus on something over which you can safely be upset. But now??

And what's our role in this? Is there anything we can do, as consumers, to alert the media that we want news of substance? Is the covered symbol really worth this much air time?

And before someone blasts me for this post in the context of some religious issue, I've already considered how I would feel if the symbol of my religion was covered. And my conclusion is that I would take a rational look at the situation and then make a decision about whether it was important enough to make an issue. I understand that Georgetown did this exact same thing last time a President spoke there - so - that takes me back to my original issue. What's the big deal?

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For those wondering what the post is about and not clicking through, here's Media Matters' summary:

Summary: Joe Scarborough advanced the claim that the White House specifically requested that Jesus' name be covered during President Obama's speech at Georgetown. In fact, the White House reportedly requested that Georgetown cover all signs and symbols on the stage.

CNN plays at my house almost nonstop though and I haven't seen any real coverage of the "issue."