The Media Is At It Again

Recently there have been a lot of shows dealing with preppers and their plans on surviving TEOTWAWKI.  This tells me two things:  first, prepping is becoming more mainstream, or at least recognizable to the nation.  Second, for some reason they’re trying to make preppers look crazy, probably because they don’t understand what it is we do.  The reason the media is representing preppers in this manner is, I’m sure, purely for sensationalist reasons.  If they step on a few truths or rights along the way, oh well, they made a good show and that’s all that counts.

The latest seems to be a series put out by National Geographic called Doomsday Prepper that shows some crazy preppers with people running around with guns and talking about the end of the world.  This post by Ranger Man from a couple of days ago features Dennis Evers, an obviously well educated guy who is into the prepping scene.  From what little I’ve read about it – I’ve never seen one of these prepper movies myself – it seems that one of the guys on the show named David Sarti was declared incompetent during a doctor’s exam and had all his guns taken away.  Apparently Sarti was joking around with his doctor (cardiologist) and said something to the effect that he should go home and kill himself.  A self professed Christian he also make it clear that that wasn’t an option.  Ranger Man had a link to the shtfplan blog post and I’m sure most of you have read it by now.

Sure, these people who allow the media on their property and then go on national TV might expect some things to be lost in the translation, but when their message is twisted beyond recognition by editing tricks I lose what ever tiny vestige of respect I may have had for them.

Most of us prep for many different scenarios, but if you believe what the series tells us, each individual prepper is getting ready for something different.  “I’m getting ready for an EMP event,” or “I’m preparing for a market collapse,” or whatever.  Then they show the folks running around in their yards, or through town, or wherever, in combat gear brandishing guns and flashlights and looking crazy as hell.  Add a few editing tricks, some voiceovers, and a couple of fancy diagrams and you’ve got a pretty good story.  Hmm, why can’t we just be preparing for anything that comes our way?  Up here in Maine I prep for snowstorms and ice storms and I’m sure that most of you have weather in mind no matter where you are when you make your preps.

According to Megan Hurwitt she was offered $1000 to shoot her cat (thanks to P. for the link) on camera for the show.  She says that after seeing the whole show she’s not too upset with National Geographic, but I have to wonder how it would make me feel if they did a show on me and then made me look like a kook?  Not only is your OPSEC shot to hell, but now you just might have some of the authorities keeping tabs on you as well.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Who knows in this day and age?

My hats off to those who make the attempt to take prepping mainstream, but it seems that they’re risking a lot by putting their faces out there.

Here at SHTFblog we’ve received several emails asking to do something like this from various sources.  Thanks, but no thanks, has been my answer.

Mainstream Media

I’ve never made it a secret of how I feel about the MSM and how they and the government report various statistics and now that it’s an election year you can’t believe anything you see anywhere.  Job statistics, housing stats, economic data, etc, are all “massaged” by the government to make you believe everything is going great.  The media happily reports these good numbers as hard facts and then later quietly downgrades them hoping that the average American won’t notice.  And it seems that for the most part we don’t.  Shame on us.

Unfortunately, the media controls what we see and there’s not much we can do about it.  Recently I watched a news blurb on MSNBC – Channel 6 News here – and it showed a sound bite of one of the Republican debates.  It showed three of the candidates:  Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich, and then the shoulder of the other candidate – Ron Paul.  The camera man must have noticed he accidentally almost put Paul into the picture because it quickly panned away so he was no longer being shown.  Sorry, Mr. Paul.  It appears that you will not be President of the United States because the media does not approve of you.

Did he have a chance even if the media didn’t do this kind of shameless editing?  I guess we’ll never know.

Indebted Countries

We all pretty much think Greece is going to default.  And probably Portugal.  And possibly Italy and etc.

Now Japan is in big trouble.  Actually, they’ve been in big trouble for years and now it’s starting to catch up with them.

All these countries are in terrible financial shape, but instead of playing it straight the media bounces back and forth more than a ping pong ball.  Either they think we’re stupid, or they are stupid.  Did I mention that the good old U. S. of A. is right up there too?

Meanwhile banks are back to making record profits while citizens of the world get poorer.  Hmmm, how about reporting on that in a fair fashion MSM?

These are, of course, my own opinions and maybe you don’t agree with me.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

-Jarhead Survivor

25 comments… add one
  • Anonymous February 20, 2012, 7:49 am

    got to agree with the jarhead

  • Templar February 20, 2012, 8:10 am

    As a cop, I have to talk to the mediacritters fairly often. Some are pretty close friends, but I still have to be careful what I say around them, lest an offhand joke make it into the 6 o’clock news. I’ve been told by my journalist friends that it’s their editors who decide what (& how) actually gets presented to the public-at-large, but all agree that the goal is the greatest viewership/readership– actual truth be damned.
    Speaking of stats, my two favorites are: 1. A man with one foot in a bucket of boiling water and the other in a bucket of ice water would, statistically, be comfortable. 2. Statistics show that one out of four fatal car crashes involve someone who’s drunk. That means you’re three times as likely to die in a car crash if you’re sober, right? Go figure.

  • Twelvetoe February 20, 2012, 9:00 am

    My “Ah – Haa” moment with the media came when I was performing a dive to recover a vehicle that had wound up in the former quarry that was now serving as the local dump. I was asked by the reporter “What was it like down there?” Knowing that my comment would be published I thought I would give them a good one. I replied – “It was like diving inside of midnight”. Pretty good quote huh? The next morning I grabbed the paper to read the story. There on the front page the quote attributed to me was – “It was dark.”
    If the media cant even get a simple quote right on a stupid little story why would I believe them when they are trying to tell me what is happening in the world!

  • J February 20, 2012, 9:46 am

    Excellent piece. And RE Ron Paul’s shoulder, remember when the great Fred Thompson ran for the nomination last time? He had the political experience, the recognition frm his years on TV, the strong right/libertarian views… he had that deep, resonant voice and the ‘don’t screw with us’ demeanor. He and Palin could have been unbeatable;e. And how many times did you ever see the MSM show hi, allow him to respond during the fake ‘debates’ or even acknowledge that he was AT the debates?

  • Spoo45 February 20, 2012, 9:51 am

    I met Dave Dsarti this wkend, seemed like a regular guy to me. While the show is entertaining, they do what media does. They try to home in on easy targets to make them look bad and demonize a whole “movement” if you want to call it that. I dont call prepping a movement, I call it common sense. IF you see a train coming, move. Some of the folks on the shows so far have done some fairly inovative things for themselves and that is what we need in our country right now. Inovation, invention etc. will help grow us out of the funk we are in however until we find “NEW GUARDS” we will loose all we invent. As for MEgan, she was probly the stoopidest of all Ive seen on the shows so far. That chick is out there, nopt very realistic in her ideas and probly not gonna make it. But good luck anyway….

    • JeanneS February 20, 2012, 11:23 am

      Spoo45, from what I’ve seen of Megan from Doomsday Preppers and read about her online, her biggest problem is just youth & immaturity. Give her another decade, and most of her silliness will have been left behind. (I know I was a completely “out there” liberal dingbat in my early twenties, but 20 years later I’ve gotten almost all of it out of my system!)

      • irishdutchuncle February 20, 2012, 2:33 pm

        a lot will depend on who she’s hanging out with, the next several years. it’s rough to overcome peer pressure.

        • Spook45 February 20, 2012, 8:36 pm

          Well. I dont think t will be becuz of peak oil, but I dont think she has that long to get it out of her system, we are on the verge of colapse and the wheels are about ot come off. Oil will be the least of her worries when the stores are full of food and no one can afford it. She will be EATING those cats before she gets out of that place. Im glad I live in the styx@!

  • Odd Questioner February 20, 2012, 10:32 am

    Well, I can report that it has gone ‘mainstream’ in most places here in Oregon that isn’t Portland or Salem.

    I had a lot of conversations with folks out in my new home over the weekend, and yeah… there’s a whole lot o’ preppin’ going on.

    • JeanneS February 20, 2012, 11:18 am

      Definitely true! I live just outside Portland, OR and work for a very large company which is quite liberal and tends to attract liberal employees — yet I know that at least 3 of my co-workers (of the couple dozen that I’ve had social conversations with) are preppers to some extent, even if they don’t yet use that term to describe themselves. (Even my most liberal co-workers are highly pro-Second Amendment, as well. It’s a bit startling.)

      Of course, most of the rural folks I know and grew up around don’t consider what they do “prepping” but rather “just being sensible” or “following Church teachings” (we have a lot more Mormons in Oregon than you might guess). My non-Mormon relatives get nervous if they have less than several dozen rolls of toilet paper and several cases of canned food tucked away; and they’ve always been that way, although Mt St Helens blowing up in 1980 did give us all a strong reminder of why it’s good to have lots of food & supplies stored! (When you can’t drive to the grocery store because there’s just too much volcanic ash in the air for your car’s air filter to process, you’d darned well better have plenty of toilet paper already in your house!)

      • Michael February 20, 2012, 8:08 pm

        I don’t call or consider what I’m doing “prepping” or “survivalism.” I’m just going back, to the extent that it’s practical and possible, to how my grand parents and great aunts and uncles lived and how I grew up during the Boeing Bust years. I liked living that way and 90% of what I’m doing I’m doing because I like it better.

  • RoyG February 20, 2012, 10:57 am

    Have to admit that here in SFLa there is a whole lot of prepping going on… alot of people talking to me about it… i am only talking to people i trust and the rest have to just go on…the MSM is going to feed all the cool aid drinkers their favorite drink and they are going to gobble it down… we all know that…

  • JeanneS February 20, 2012, 11:08 am

    Jarhead, I think you’re being far too nice in saying the reason that the mainstream media is trying to to make preppers look crazy is “probably because they don’t understand what it is we do.” I’m pretty certain they’re trying to make us look crazy so that the sheeple who watch these shows for entertainment won’t be as inclined to start becoming aware that there’s more to life than football, Jersey Shore, and the latest celebrity adoption. If tv viewiers can be made to see preppers as nutcases, they’re less likely to make the mental leap that if it’s all very sensible to take responsibility for oneself & one’s family by preparing for a natural disaster, then it’s probably very sensible to take responsibility for oneself & one’s family by becoming self-reliant in other ways! That might lose the MSM some mindless followers, and we certainly can’t have that — especially in an election year!

    • Templar February 20, 2012, 12:01 pm

      Perfectly put, JeanneS.

      • Jason February 20, 2012, 12:49 pm

        Ok that does JeanneS, this is war! How dare you attack such a fine family program as Jersey Shore!! I’m in love with Snookie!

        Now please excuse me while I go puke …

        Listen, Mormons have been prepping for many decades but somehow they are not viewed as nut cases. I guess it just won’t garner viewer share ratings.

  • KC February 20, 2012, 12:07 pm

    If all this wasn’t taken for “the sign of the times” it would be entertaining. However when a cable television network, who has a very niche sense of programming; Discovery Animal Planet, has their own preparedness program “Meet the Preppers” as part of their Saturday Night line-up, then you know, that television being a business, the business is there to generate income for their shareholders, they like every other business will degrade to the lowest common denominator, and screen a program featuring in their opinion something novel and popular, such as all these preparedness programs. BTW: the program which I saw Saturday Evening, was actually rather funny, like a situation-comedy since it was the all-too-common formula of Formerly Middle-Class Caucasian Family, living in the Salt Lake City Metro (looks like West Jordan) Area. Dad/Husband looses his high five-figure salary working for a software developer Stay at Home Mother/Wife has to return to work, they downgrade to a smaller housing unit, all the while having six children. This is where it gets amusing; Dad/Husband gets all these ‘great’ ideas about increasing the family’s preparedness, while the Mother/Wife shoots down the method, but not the result, hence you see the dynamic all-too-common in any household where preparedness competes with the so-called ‘normal lifestyle.’ In all a entertaining program, but my only question about it was why was this featured on Discovery Animal Planet? Sure the family harvested a domestic pig in the course of the program, but that was the only animal I saw over the course of the hour-long program, so it was kind of weird…

    God Bless and stay “frosty!”

  • Jason February 20, 2012, 12:58 pm

    To coin a phrase from my best friend’s dad “it’s just a bunch of horse shit”. The name of the game has always been distraction & sensationalism in order to get a large audience share then to turn it into a profit.

    Most times the truth is too damn boring.

    America, America – God shed His grace on thee … but suspect is about to take it back.

  • Jason February 20, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Dang nab it, I forgot to add this about indebtedness as it applies to the USA & your comment about the banks getting richer –

    Do you know who holds the greatest amount of American IOU’s? China, no they’re in 2nd place. It is ….. the Federal Reserve! And do a little homework & figure out who created the Federal Reserve (read Creature from Jekyll Island).

    Ron Paul is either a liar, lunatic or telling the truth. He’s too smart for the first two & has got my vote.

    IOU article:

  • T.R. February 20, 2012, 6:57 pm

    RP has my vote as well . The media in this country is a joke and the older generation who grew up with only 4 channels and B&W TV know it , the younger generation eats all the BS they can feed them , you know , the PC generation . If you want more factual media , you have to read foreign news . Take with a grain of salt , but they have their journalists in this country just like we have ours in theirs . Here is an example ……. you will never read this in an american paper ……… this article tells it like it is about illegal immigration .

    Either way , keep on prepping , people have always thought of us as crackpots ( except Mormons , they understand it very well ) Its just now the freak d’jour for the media , tomorrow it will be somebody else …………..who cares , they wont be laughing WTSHTF .

    • Jason February 20, 2012, 10:57 pm

      Excellent article! A couple of parts I laughed out loud at the pinpoint accuracy.

      • T.R. February 23, 2012, 11:22 pm

        lol yeah , PC is not in their culture ………they call it as they see it ………….I find that refreshing .

  • extremesgs February 21, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Great article.

    I’ll have to echo part of what Michael said, and expand on it. Giving the title of “prepper” seems to be part of the problem. We’ve taken a verb-action- and made it into a title, status, or way of life. Some people look at that and immediately start thinking bad thoughts… like, you’ve identified yourself as a group, so now people (unfortunately, not those in the group!) start setting up parameters for what it means to be involved in that group.
    I think that, as a result of the DP show especially, people (those who prepare for a given set of circumstances) are going to mention that fact to someone and the response is going to be something along the lines of “Oh, like those people on that show…?” and of course, what have they done with the show? created the wrong image….

    Personally, i don’t like the title of “prepper” or anything else. I am prepared for a variety of things to a variety of degrees, but i don’t feel that deserves a title. Hell, if any title i think it should be “Guy with common sense” or “Realist” or “not blind guy” or something like that. :-) after all, if you live in a area where (insert mother nature’s fury here) happens, and don’t prepare for it, you’re an idiot. Flat out. No question. You know its coming or likely, yet you don’t do anything about it. Not much common sense. Seatbelts are the same thing… but i don’t call people “belters” who choose to be prepared for an MV accident. Common sense.
    The image i’m starting to see of “prepper” (thanks to media and some of those more vocal in the game) is that of someone with military grade bags/gear, face paint, and guns they aren’t being safe with. Very militaristic, very abnormal, and of a person who is fixated so much on something that they don’t live their life in the “now.” Not the image i want someone to conjure up when i tell them that yea, i’m prepared for hurricanes, indefinite power outages, terror attacks, and a slew of other bad situations….

    (side note: as for all the military gear… what gives? for some people its looking like they get it to “look the part.” i know some guys take it with them from enlistment and some have it already and then end up using it for this stuff, but for the avg civi, a little tip for ya- regular “backpacking” type gear is often cheaper, always lighter, and doesn’t draw near as much attention) :-)

    As for shit really hitting the fan… economy, terror attacks, bio attacks, martian invasion, etc…. the moment i/you/we say “THAT will never happen,” that’s the moment we turned ourselves into a blind idiot. (how many of THOSE do you know!?!?!?!). So while i’m getting cranky about the “title” i’m in no way changing my views on the “action.”

    Anyway, back to the point… the moment that title- or any title- is thrown on someone because of a characteristic or something like that (in this case, the fact that they realize there are certain situations they NEED to prepare for, and other situations they SHOULD be prepared for, however less likely they may be), that is the moment where opinions are made about all who do that same thing. Unforunately, the media has gotten its hooks into the “preparedness” concept, and whatever image they portray it in is what people are stuck with. Right now, “prepper” seems to be synonomous with “survivalist” which seems to be synonomous with “extremist group” or “yahoos” or “whackos” or “those people the feds keep an eye on.” We need to change that… unfortunately, the media doesn’t tend to like “how things really are,” they need to add drama.

    maybe we need to try to get away from “identifying” the people- us- by the act… and just focus on the act for what it is- being prepared for things.

    rant from my recovery chair over for now….

    • Jason February 21, 2012, 8:40 pm

      Very nicely put – well done.

      • extremesgs February 22, 2012, 1:35 pm

        Thanks Jason.

        And as i sit here watching last night’s eposide of the show, i hear another “guilty” :-) party…. “I’m what you’d call a “prepper.” followed by “It’s my lifestyle now”


  • TiredOldGuy February 22, 2012, 5:28 am

    I worked for eight years in the newspaper industry and I can confirm just how much stuff is made up. Not too many people realise that we have templates in the industry, which were at first used because of a lack of information. Keeping things vague allowed us to go to print without having a full detailed report.

    But now the template system is just used to pigeon-hole events into stories that will sell papers. There’s the “Government isn’t prepared for this disaster which Will Happen” and the “These people seem a little different, lets imply that they are Evil” and many others.

    Funnily enough, everyone that I worked for did not trust _anything_ that we printed.


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