Let me get the thesis of my argument out of the way right now: the nightly news is there to instill fear in you, or in other words, terrorize you. You’re probably thinking that the news, in whatever capacity, is not a form of terrorism, but I believe that it is.
Today on Rosie Radio, Rosie talked a lot about how she can’t stand the news anymore, because they never report on happy things, and seem to be intentionally instilling fear in people so that they return to their news stations to be updated.
For example, this year we have had tons and tons and tons of snow in the northeast. More than we have had in a few years combined, probably. However, anytime a weather system comes our way, a week before hand the news stations are calling it “Snowpacolypse 2010.” “Snowmageddon.” Even these titles are fear-inducing. Tune in tonight, we’re getting the big one!” And the time comes for it to snow and what happens? A gust of wind blows through. But what else happens? People run to the store to buy all of the groceries that their refrigerators can fill. They fill up their gas tanks. They buy every single snow shovel in the tri-state area. For what!? People need to stop panicking every time a flake of snow falls out of the sky. We live in a fear-based society. This isn’t a Chilean earthquake.
Same thing with this tsunami last week. HOURS UPON HOURS of coverage, and news anchors telling everyone to get the hell out of the water, a giant tsunami is coming to suck your life out in to the depths of the ocean. And what happened? The tide changed, without notice. We’re all so scared.
Here’s a great example of this in my own life. Some of my friends suffer from severe anxiety disorders and don’t even realize it. One, who is particularly obsessed with the news and can’t stop reading it, will call me and have a mild anxiety attack on the phone because she just read somewhere that there is a 1 in 2 billion chance that a satellite that broke up in Earth’s orbit will fall out of the sky and on to her head. My reaction is similar to a dial tone: nothing. Her reaction is similar to utter chaos: she’s freaking out, and worried that she will become a victim of a rogue satellite. My question is this: why do we live in fear? I understand taking precautions, but when you make life choices based off of whether you think a snow storm is coming, a terrorist attack will happen, or a satellite will fall out of the sky, isn’t that the opposite of living? Aren’t you actually just dying?
I don’t know people. I could never live my life in fear, and never will. If you read on the news that
I actually get exhausted, overwhelmed, and irritated with the news. I can’t watch it. I don’t even remember the last time that I watched a full 30 or 60 minute news program. After “another murder in the South Side,” or “there’s no recovery happening in the economy” I just realize I don’t need to submerse myself in nightly doses of terrorism, because whether you look at it one way or another, that’s exactly what it is.