Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Review on "Noise" by Teresa Tomeo in "Lay Witness" magazine

How Our Media-Saturated Culture
Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families

By Teresa Tomeo
Reviewed by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Ascension Press, 2007.

Broadcaster Teresa Tomeo puts a name on the biased media propaganda that has bombarded our culture. She calls it Noise and tells us that the noise of the mass media has infiltrated our lives and has become our voice—and “worse yet our barometer of standards.”

“I wrote Noise because I wanted families especially parents to have a one stop shopping book of information on the media that they can grab if they have questions about any aspect of media influence.”

Tomeo warns us that if we don’t get a grip on what’s happening to us through the media. It will continue to subtly dismantle our families. Not mincing words, Tomeo is not afraid to name names in her eye-opening book, detailing the harmful impact of the mass media on our culture.

What more credible person is there to address this issue than Teresa Tomeo? Twenty years in television and radio have pried open her own eyes to the harm being done to unsuspecting families by the mass media. The media damage has at times literally made Tomeo sick to her stomach.

She herself wisely uses the media to express her valid concerns and to get the word out to help protect families. Tomeo points out that we cannot completely detach ourselves from major media and reminds us that “even the late Pope John Paul II saw value in the media and an opportunity there to spread the Good News.” She further explains, “Without television, the world might not have come to know John Paul II in the manner in which it did,” and that “the Pope stressed the importance of making media usage a family activity that involves the parents.”

Throughout her book, Tomeo educates us thoroughly on the types of damage done by the various media outlets, explaining that broadcast standards have been “spiraling downward, even aster than society at large.” She feels that the downgraded standards coupled with society’s apathy equals disaster. Her firsthand experience with the media helps her present statistics and a wealth of information derived from years of research on the subject.

This radio host admits to frustration when delving into the problem of media bias, telling us that the members of her profession have let her down regarding their owning up to and correcting the balance in the news coverage. However, she says more of her frustration lies “with people of my own faith and political persuasion who do nothing but complain.”
We are rightly admonished by Tomeo to “speak out and challenge the secular media directly.” She instructs us on how to contact news directors and reporters and on how to write opinion pieces so that we can make an impact and help balance the scales of the media.

Tomeo is hopeful for the future and says, “Despite the media’s attempt to distort the truth to advance a liberal agenda, twist the facts to makes stories more appealing, and hype the news in an attempt to hike ratings, John Paul is correct – “Truth will not pass or change.”

We are fortunate to have this “insider’s knowledge of what has been going on. Thankfully, Tomeo not only presents the facts, unveiling the hidden dangers and overwhelming evidence of media bias to us: she gives us a great plan of action to combat this insidious evil.

The author offers to join us in the challenge and inspires us to step out of our comfort zone in order to do something to make a difference. She recalls the Gospel message in Matthew (14:22-33) when Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water. When he began to sink, Jesus supported him. Tomeo assures us that “He will be there to lead us to the sure footing we desire. From this solid ground we then can begin to carry out our mission—a mission that will restore the true, good, and beautiful in a world that is in great need.”

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