Blind to what is important

Published 11:32 am Thursday, January 12, 2017

What really matters in the world today?

A well-known actress earned another award for her acting ability and took advantage of the opportunity during her acceptance speech to voice her political views. For two or three days, the national media and social media seemed to be non-stop in commenting on what she had to say about the president-elect. She, of course, is entitled to voice her opinion because we live in a free speech society.

Meanwhile, another law enforcement officer was killed in the line of duty when she approached a murder suspect in Orlando, Florida. Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, a wife and mother of an adult son, was gunned down Monday morning by the murder suspect who remains on the run.

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By all accounts, the 17-year veteran of the Orlando police force was the epitome of an outstanding officer and human being, volunteering to help the local youth in the community she grew up in as well as starting a nonprofit for female victims of violence. She didn’t deserve the fate that she received. But there is no doubt she made a difference in the world she lived in.

That kind of commitment to bettering the lives of others shouldn’t be overshadowed by the words and views of an actress, but they have been.

I’ve had more Facebook friends comment and post for and against what this actress said than those who have been outraged by the senseless murder of another law enforcement officer. That saddens and angers me at the same time.

It really leaves me wondering once again, what really matters to us in the world today?

Is our world so wrapped up in what a celebrity says that we lose sight of what is really important?

There’s a term we use in the media called “news cycle,” which is basically the time frame when a story breaks and is first reported and will remain active. Most journalists call this a “24/7 news cycle.” It has become outdated due to instantaneous news bumping a story from page 1 of the paper to an inside page.

While the words and subsequent responses of this actress remain front page in a lot of national media, the murder of Sgt. Debra Clayton has fallen to an inside page and I believe that is wrong.

Sgt. Clayton deserved much better.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at