Fearmongering In The Media
Having recently watched “Bowling for Columbine” for the 2nd time, I still remain chilled with emotion regarding the events leading up to the making of the film. And although many years have passed since the actual incident, the proximity of such chaos remains close.
Why is that?
Why is it that in 2007, people will grab the gun to deal with what bothers them rather than use their intellect? We have to assume that these people do possess some form of cerebral activity, since they can identify and recognize whatever, or whomever is the source of their aggravation. And thusly react accordingly in the simplest and most violent way possible.
Again, why is that?
Probably because they – and this can be extended to include the general populace – are told that things in general are dangerous, bad, and not like you and I. Hey, we’re constantly reminded of how pathetic the healthcare system is, the ballooning of unemployment rates, and how (insert noun here) could possibly be linked towards maybe perhaps giving us a slight chance that potentially might give us cancer. Maybe. With news like that, I’m almost inclined to fetch my Smith & Wesson and sit on the front porch just itchin’ to delete anything that crosses me wrong.
Think about this: most newscasts feature “human interest stories.” Why then, are the stories that are, by definition, interesting to humans not shown at the top of the broadcast? Do the stories that are important to my dog take precedence over me? Are we living on the Planet of the Apes, therefore needing to wait until the simian population gets their news first?
No, of course not.
What we are living in is a 24 hour news broadcast of perpetual despair and doom & gloom. Is not the most depressing show on television the nightly news? Economic downtown, political scandal, violence, murder, and the occasional nipple shown on TV. And I can’t change the channel because, according to TV, this is the world I live in. There’s no escape, except maybe on that Mars rover. Oh wait, that cost 3 billion dollars, more bad news for the taxpayer.
Everyone it seems needs to proclaim bad news to get their message heard. “We’re protesting because,” “we’re here because,” “this is a problem because.” Even George W. Bush, the friggin’ President of the United States of America called a news conference to tell us that “a blanket alert has been issued over a general threat.” What the hell does that mean? Did he really need to call a presser to tell us that? Was there not anything else on his mind that would have attracted the attention of the people besides a cryptic message stating that we’re all in danger?
Maybe we’re all voyeurs. Perhaps we want to see the misery that other people go through, in order to feel better about ourselves. Could it be that when we see that Ford stocks have dropped because their new minivan explodes when you start it, we need to go off on a rampage to sympathize with that poor soccer mom?
Bad news will always beget bad news. After Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on TV, nobody changed the channel because everyone was scared they might miss something. We see crummy things, we act crummy, and then we watch the crummy news to see if the crummy thing we did will be on.
Yes, the world does indeed suck. Maybe all those moody teenagers have it right. Still, we can show ‘em. How about news and information that is good and useful? “Today on CNN, how to make fat free chocolate.” Wouldn’t that be nice, rather than “today on CNN, every person in the world is overweight.” I think so. Every nightly newscast should be read by the Care Bears. Newspapers should be written in magic marker. And you can only watch CNN, or anything like that after your bedtime story.
Yeah, that’ll get great ratings.