“Sermo interruptus” — please let me finish!

Is it just me, or does the general level of discourtesy in the media and elsewhere get to you?

I enjoy being an informed viewer/listener when it comes to news and talk shows, but lately I've had a lot of trouble with the increasing levels of rudeness shown by hosts and guests of these programs. While their proclaimed mission is to keep us informed, the reality is that the way this "information" is presented prevents ANYONE from hearing what's attempting to be said.

Now, when I mention talk show hosts that interrupt, many people will jump immediately to the interview by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly where he repeatedly interrupts President Barack Obama.  O'Reilly himself explains these interruptions. "The truth is that TV interviewers who want to get answers must--must--interrupt their guests," he said in an interview shortly thereafter.

But, while pesky, I would say that this particular interview of Mr. O'Reilly's was still "garden-variety interruption."  What really puts me over the top is the continual, constant, shout-fest where neither host (sometimes multiples) and guest (also sometimes multiple) cannot get a word in edge-wise.  Political debates used to be the preferred forum for this kind of "Interrupt-itis," and that arena is still alive-and-well for politicians who try to out-talk each other. But, sadly, the problem has leaked into every nook and cranny of our media world: Click on the clip below to get a taste of what I'm talking about:

 Finding Nemo who are all clamoring "Mine, Mine, Mine!!!"  for a lonely crab. Sorry, folks; you are supposed to be adults who have some basic form of self-control.


In the spirit of helpfulness, I'd like to offer a few tips that might make this process go a little more smoothly and help those of us who are trying to pay attention to what you have to say... (more…)

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New reports imply Phoebe Prince had it coming?

In the last couple of days, articles have appeared in the media that seem to be trying to shed "new light" on the case of Phoebe Prince's bullying suicide.  One bombshell, in Slate Magazine, provides a fairly detailed outline of the teen's life and circumstances before her death. In the article, references were made to her incidents of cutting herself, how she poached other people's boyfriends, and the implication is that she is at least partly to blame for what ultimately happened to her.

Ok, maybe it's just me, but this entire article offends me.  It's the same as saying, "well, she deserved to be raped because she wore provocative clothing." Rubbish. (more…)

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A new day — another bullying death?

I just shouldn't look.  As part of my "job," I have to stay up on what's going on in the world related to my area of expertise. Since I do frequent media interviews, one habit I've gotten into is checking Google Trends and CNN for stories related to bullying, social skills, education and such.  It's my "homework," but I'm getting disheartened by what I see.

This morning, reports on Fox News and other sources of another teen suicide, bullying is apparently involved.  A 15 year old girl jumped to her death in Alabama. Preliminary reports indicate she was bullied in school, so this may be at least a factor in her death.  (more…)

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