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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cable News is Ruining our World

Seth Godin is a student of culture and often offers insight about things from an entrepreneurial perspective that have great application to church work. Recently he discussed Cable News:
Cable news thinking has nothing to do with fires or with politics. Instead, it amplifies the worst elements of emotional reaction:

1. Focus on the urgent instead of the important.
2. Vivid emotions and the visuals that go with them as a selector for what's important.
3. Emphasis on noise over thoughtful analysis.
4. Unwillingness to reverse course and change one's mind.
5. Xenophobic and jingoistic reactions (fear of outsiders).
6. Defense of the status quo encouraged by an audience self-selected to be uniform.
7. Things become important merely because others have decided they are important.
8. Top down messaging encourages an echo chamber (agree with this edict or change the channel).
9. Ill-informed about history and this particular issue.
10. Confusing opinion with the truth.
11. Revising facts to fit a point of view.
12. Unwillingness to review past mistakes in light of history and use those to do better next time.

If I wanted to hobble an organization or even a country, I'd wish these twelve traits on them. I wonder if this sounds like the last board meeting you went to...

Worse, does this sound like a recent sermon? Friends, our job is not to persuade people to think like we think, or to entice people to fill the seats on Sunday morning. Our job is to speak as one who is speaking the very words of God (1 Pet. 4:11-12).

1 comment:

Mark said...

Good post. I'm going to borrow some of your list as an illustration in my devo tonight.