Father’s Day and the Major Media

I hope those of you who are dads were able to enjoy a great Father’s Day this weekend. I had a good time, and the church I visited even had a positive mention for dads, which was great. Maybe the era of Fathers Day beat downs is coming to an end. Let’s hope so.

I have noted before that the major media always tend to promote the unusual or the transgressive, and rarely celebrate the mainstream or the norm. The New York Times, for example, loves to rep polyamory. But you rarely get the same kinds of articles about ordinary heterosexual married life.

This trend was on display for Father’s Day this weekend. The one piece in the Sunday New York Times that was a very positive portrayal of fatherhood was about gay dads. The cover story of the magazine was about a man who had been conceived in a one night stand and hadn’t seen his father since he was a kid. There was another piece by a woman writing about how her 70 father had joined Tinder.

The Wall Street Journal weekend edition went with a similar theme. It featured another article from a man who had never known his father. There were some other pieces as well, such as a communications expert writing about how to better understand our dads (on the assumption we must have some understanding or communications gap).

These pieces were all interesting in a way. I’m not saying articles about people whose fathers were missing from their lives are bad. I enjoyed reading both of the above.

But the major news gave more space on Fathers Day to people growing up fatherless than it does to people who had a dad in their life.

If you want to understand the role of the media in shaping our society, just look at what they promote and celebrate vs. what they don’t.


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