I've never considered the media a responsible entity, after all, "if it bleeds, it leads" and all that. But I, for one, am getting pretty tired of the media race-baiting and inciting violence and anger in the population. It seems like not a day goes by that the media doesn't wring an incident for all it's worth in order to anger the public, encourage the public to take a side, and goad them into further action (and therefore create further opportunities to cover even more horrific incidents).
With racist rants, protests, violence, and anger at an all time high lately, I had to laugh when the story came across my news feed about Paul Ryan and his white interns. Of course people are going to immediately take to social media and rant about how racist he is but if people (especially the media!) would take a step back and do a bit of research they would realize that the photo is a pretty good representation of his constituency. Yes, his congressional district is 91% white and 5% black and yes he is a republican and yes many blacks tend to vote democrat so realistically why would this photo be considered "too white" or racist?
I'm pretty sure that all of the media-inspired race baiting had a direct impact on the recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. I mean, if the shooters would have been logical they would have targeted bad cops, cops from departments known for racism, and, you know, white cops. But none of those things happened. Instead angry, probably mentally unstable men, most likely spurred on by the rampant reports of racism and calls for violence which are now 24/7 in the media (social and otherwise) thought the best thing to do was go out in a blaze of glory taking as many innocent people with them as possible. And this didn't accomplish anything. It certainly didn't make cops less leery of young black men, it didn't improve racial harmony in the community, it didn't make law enforcement softer on criminals.
So I guess the moral of this rant is to pay attention to what the media is doing to you when you are being barraged with the garbage that passes for news these days. Before you latch onto a story/idea/situation, take a step back and think logically about the situation and most importantly, think about how the problem can be solved. Don't automatically believe everything you see and hear and read and don't automatically take sides as sometimes the obvious side is wrong and/or you are only getting half of the story. Don't resort to violence out of anger (a good rule of thumb for any situation).
And for those with a conspiracy theorist bent, consider that some reports point towards the biggest kerfuffles you see in the media are actually being used as diversionary tactics by those in power to keep your attention on one thing (racial violence) when they are trying to pass off other things that they don't want you to pay attention to (example here). There are also rumblings of so much violence leading to martial law in the near future.
For more examples of how the public is being misled by the media check here, here, and here.