Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Friday, June 08, 2012


I tried an experiment at our house for the last 3 months. I got positive results, though not the results I was originally hoping for. One of the obvious ways that my 6 year old son's autism can manifest itself is through tantrums. When he gets sensory overload, or just overwhelmed in general, his behavior can get out of control. He doesn't know how to process everything he is experiencing so he can lash out ...with hitting, kicking, screaming, etc. I had read about how playing soothing music in the room while troubled, violent teens sleep had been effective in decreasing their inappropriate behavior. So since March we have been playing KLOVE Christian radio in Parker's room 24/7. Honestly, I don't think it has helped curb his tantrums. But it is now his favorite radio station, even above Radio Disney. And he knows tons of Christian songs and is learing Bible lyrics and singing about Jesus all day long. Not a bad trade off.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Satisfying Soul Surfer

I recently watched the film "Soul Surfer."  I really enjoyed it. It is another current example of a major Hollywood type film that effectively touches on Christian themes, or atleast treats the character's faith with respect. This film, now out on DVD, features the story of Christian teen Bethany Hamilton, an amateur surfer in Hawaii. She was attacked by a shark and lost one of her arms. She had t...o learn to surf, and go through all of life for that matter, with one less limb. This movie humbles you and reminds you to be grateful to God for all that you have. As a parent, it would serve as a great teachable moment for teenagers who are pouting or complaining about all that they don't have (a new phone, a date to the dance, a car, etc.) I find it interesting that more and more non-Christian actors (at least to my knowledge) are taking roles in this genre of films. For example, in "Soul Surfer," Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt play the mom and dad, and Craig T. Nelson stars as the doctor. I would highly recommend the film. Watch it with your entire family! Stay tuned during the credits to see real home movies of Bethany surfing, doing chores after her injury, and sharing her faith in front of thousands. Inspiring!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Parker's story

“There’s something wrong with his brain.” Those were the words my wife shared with me on the telephone more than 6 years ago. Her Dr. had called 2 days after a routine ultrasound to give her the bad news. Actually there were a bunch of somethings wrong with his brain. My wife bravely relayed the medical information to me. But of course all I focused on was “THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIS BRAIN.” I tried to remain calm and reassuring, reminding her that people would pray. God was in control. But as soon as she hung up I startled my co-workers with my sobbing. I couldn’t talk I was so overwhelmed. All I could get out was “There’s something wrong with his brain.” I was 38 years old and this was my one chance to be a parent. My wife had already had one miscarriage and the Dr. told us we would not be able to conceive again. And then, miracle number one, we did. Now it seemed it was all slipping away. But it didn’t, it just got more
difficult. Most things in life worth fighting for are more difficult. There were multiple ultrasounds, MRI’s , heart monitorings, surgery consultations. Our son had more doctors than the state of Kansas and he wasn’t even born yet. And we weren’t sure he ever would be. But you know the rest of the story. Six years ago today, after a long and arduous pregnancy, my beautiful wife gave birth to our son Parker, miracle number two. Then came every miracle after that – sitting up, crawling, feeding himself, walking, talking. The miracles have become too numerous to mention. But we must mention them. People say God only performed miracles in the Old and New Testament. They are wrong. God still performs miracles today. I have one living in my house. He calls me “Daddy.” Maybe the reason we don’t see more miracles is after one tough phone call, we abort the miracle process. And when we do it’s because there’s something wrong with our brain.