Do Journalists Need To Be Journo-Refs?!?

Over the last few years the number of cable news shows that I watch has dwindled from whatever show was on a certain cable news network when I flipped the TV on, to a very select few (Including Joy, Brian, Nicolle, Ari, Rachel, Chris, and whatever is on Fox when I want to practice EMPATHY)

Since I’m someone who coaches people in three-demisional empathy (language, action & the need we all have to be seen, heard & understood), I decided to self-empathize and see if I could tap into the reason why. (What was I not getting from the shows I wasn’t watching anymore, and what were the painful emotions about?)

At 1st I wasn’t sure. Then I did something that’s really been helpful & effective for me. I changed the lens I was looking through (while keeping my eye on the Q I was asking). Having played sports most of my life, I tried a sports lens, and thankfully the understanding found me.

What was the issue? Well, I was watching a guest on one of the shows being interviewed with the same journalistic integrity, respect & dignity that you might imagine from a Tom Brokaw or a Gwen Ifill or a Walter Conkrite. The thing was when this guest started to ‘jump offsides’ (Ukraine, Crowdstrike, Biden), and ‘step out of bounds’ (BS’ng, gaslighting, alternative facts), there didn’t seem to be a referee (or an umpire) anywhere in sight to blow a whistle, throw a flag, or stop the game.

When the next guest came on (self-officiating, and honoring time old traditions), the impact of the previous interview seemed to harden the journalist to a point where NOW they were calling out tiny things like untucked jerseys & unbuckled straps. The contrast was extraordinary, and as an american of african-ancestry (who’s seen his pale-male friends get an ‘uppity’ & ‘hysterical’ pass, while he gets painted with those labels based on other people’s behaviors), it seemed very familiar.

Then I noticed (like with ‘Times Up’ & ‘Take A Knee’), the rules have changed, the game has changed & maybe (with some empathic help) journalists can change too. Btw (from a spiritual POV), empathy hasn’t changed, and PiMPing (pale male privilege) has always been a penalty🏳️‍🌈

So here’s what came to mind (LMK your thoughts): In old school journalism, journalistic neutrality equaled journalistic responsibility. But in today’s era of toxic BS, gaslighting & alternative facts, journalistic neutrality equals journalistic ir-responsibility (and complicity, and culpability…feel me?). Why? Because ‘bad faith’ kicks good faith’s ass, in a neutral space (as bad faith is willing to cross lines & boundaries, that GOOD FAITH isn’t willing to do…and that’s when journalists need to blow a whistle, throw a flag & stop the game🏈(See ya working, @JoyAnnReid & @NicolleDWallace)

Today’s journalists, need to be badass referees (the days of dainty neutrality are gone, and if the ‘rules of law’ are important, then stepping up our game with the changing rules of journalism, seems right in line, yes?). And please Journo-Refs, when someone uses the expletive (swear, curse, profanity, obscenity), ‘democrat party‘ (& trust me, when the noun is used as an adjective, it’s a toxic insult…like ‘bless your heart’ said in a certain kind of way), please blow a whistle, throw a flag & stop the game!

‘We say democratic on this show’

(& on a side note, head words are no match for gut words. ‘disgusting’ & ‘disgraceful’ kick ‘inappropriate’ & ‘shoulds’ ass all day. But heart words (like FREEDOM, PROTECTION, SAFETY…said from a loving, abundant place), can stand up to fear & scarcity 24/7/31/12)

…in fact did you know that communication is 55% physiology, 38% tonality & 7% verbally? Which means ‘big lies’ told with big tonality & big physiology, can sucker-punch any ‘little truth-lie’ that is told without conviction. #BigTruth (aka verbal-empathy) on the other hand, is power-with/protective force, and sees the beauty in ‘big lies’ while rocking them like a ninja hurricane (anyone else a ‘Scorpions’ fan?)

Oh, one more thing Journo-Refs! In the spirit of @JakeTapper‘s #AllThePresidentsLies (Btw, 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct on that unnecessary President Obama dig at the beginning). In the spirit of ‘All The Presidents Lies’ (see how repetition works?), when we repeat BS we reinforce BS. And when we reinforce BS it starts to smell less. So three things please:

(1) When you repeat his words in your regular voice, it transfers our feelings towards you onto his words. Say them in a tone that expresses their impact on the world.

(2) When you repeat his gaslighting-terms the way he says them, saying ‘why they are BS’ has little effect. Leave out a word or paraphrase/change the word order, as a way to ‘scratch the record’ and interrupt the pattern. [eg ‘he says it wasn’t an ugly phone call’ or ‘he says it wasn’t YES collusion, YES corruption’…see what I mean?]

(3) When you forget that this is Hatfield’s & McCoy’s, when you laugh at his demolition of democracy like you don’t remember ‘Tug Fork’, and when you let your inner Randall McCoy let this Hatfield ‘jump offsides’ & ‘step out of bounds’, it’s like you’re cool with him having punched your grandmother in the face [graphic enough?]

Speech can be violent, and violent speech is not protected speech (2nd amendment exceptions: obscenity, fighting words, etc). So blow a whistle, throw a flag & stop this game of ‘Toxic Bully Pulpit’ (we’re depending on you)

‘Obedience isn’t loyalty, force isn’t strength & sucker-punching isn’t counterpunching’ ~SiMBa

So why do I only watch certain shows now? Because I’ve worked way too hard (to be kind, happy & empathic), to waste any amount of energy being ‘pissed off’ all the time (ya know?)

‘It’s better to trust (& be disappointed once in awhile), than it is to distrust (& be miserable all of the time)’ ~Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving weekend (& National Weekend of Mourning), team-humanity

“Together We Rise, Together We Fly” ~Tony Scruggs (‘The Empathy Guy’)

(Empathic Warrior Training)🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾