Country: Media Accountability

The prosecuting attorney, Robert McCulloch, clearly explained the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson. He also criticized the 24/7 media for its “insatiable desire to report anything” for much of the violence surrounding the initial reports of the police officer’s defense of himself against the attack of the young man in Ferguson, Missouri last August. What makes the media believe it must speculate information – and thus cause a fury of emotions?

The speculation reminds me of the principle God taught Job when Job did not understand why he lost his business, family and health. After 42 chapters describing the speculations and blame of his friends for why Job suffered and God’s questioning Job for his responses, Job finally humbly responded,

Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 3 You asked, `Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, `I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6 NKJ)

I realize the media will never “abhor” themselves. They are just trying to give information. Yet, rather than wait for the facts, or trust the process to work, they speculated on the causes and possible explanation. Of course, one of the courses of actions was to blame the officer for the young man’s death. That would be like Job speculating why he was going through suffering and self-righteously declaring his own innocence, which would put God on trial. God will have nothing with that. He will not allow man to question His sovereign purposes. There is a higher angelic trial going on, which Job would not have known about or understood, and which God did not explain to Job.

The solution for us is always to humble ourselves before the sovereign holiness of God and wait upon Him for His answers and solutions. The same would be wise for the media in issues like Ferguson. Instead of speculating and contributing the preparation of and demonstration of violence, they should have waited on more of the facts. Waiting on the facts is not exactly the same, but is similar to trusting the sovereignty of God as Job had to learn. They should have done what Job acknowledged,

3 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 4 “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. 5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5 NKJ)

Do we want the media to report the news? Absolutely! Much of the freedom the Lord has given us and our founding fathers codifed is also maintained in part courtesy of the investigations of the media to not allow the power lust of politicians to mount up for selfish purposes. But the media has often become a law unto themselves.


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