A few months ago I just knew we would suffer a pandemic of bird flu. I prayed, lost sleep, researched what a pandemic is exactly. Then one day the threats were gone, the warnings were gone and I figured that if the media wasn't talking about it, it just wasn't happening.
Then yesterday the news sites were once again swarming with the warnings, the threats, the plans our government will put into action in the event of an outbreak. Last night I prayed, lost sleep and daydreamed of barricading myself and loved ones in my house if there were to be an outbreak.
I fear what the media tells me to fear. I can't help it. Just as I can't help being petrified to get on the plane to Seattle Friday morning and then again on Monday afternoon. I've calmed my nerves by convincing myself that God wouldn't take me before I've read Harry Potter Book 7 and by telling myself that no terrorist will want to highjack a plane flying into Newark, NJ at 10:00 pm while no one is at work. Going to Seattle, well, why would anyone want to terrorize Seattle. It's so pretty there.
How did the media get so bad? Is it just me who sees the media as the real terrorizer? I don't think so. I overheard a colleague of me talking about Charlotte, NC last Friday and her previous visit there. She said even the news was nice. The top story was about a family of geese that crossed the highway.
Now that's just an example and maybe it's where I live that the news is so bad but look at CNN. For anyone who does not watch their local news, CNN is the summary for what's up. It's gruesome. I read CNN every single weekday while I eat my lunch and I can't even tell you how many times I had to choose between not finishing my lunch or not finishing a news report. Our news has made me nauseous, weak in the knees, and flat out cry.
Do we need this? I know I don't but yet I continue to read the news everyday and maybe that's my fault and I'm just not cut out for it, but I do like to know the headlines at least. I feel that an intelligent person should know the headlines everyday.
But does the world really need to know the gruesome and knee weakening hate crimes that two teenage boys down south committed and how they'll only be charged for what it is if the victim dies? Do we really need to be told a bird flu pandemic is coming when we don't know when it's coming? Can't they just let us know the facts? Like that it's out there and that we have a plan? I don't want to know the details of a sex offender's confession. I just want to know he's being sentenced to life in prison for it.
I could go on and on. The point is I'm not ignorant. I don't want to see the world through rose-colored glasses and the media is what's preventing me from that. That's not my problem. My problem is what the media chooses to cover. Philadelphia has had 100 murders so far in 2006 and not one of them has been covered on CNN. Why? It's old news; it's what's expected of Philadelphia. The media covers the stories that shock the small towns and scare the hell out of people and to be honest, I think some of the reports just give other criminals ideas. I wish that bit about the plastic real working oozy found on a drug dealer on an airplane had been kept to itself. Great, now guns can be made of plastic.
I guess news is news. If a kid was shot down the street from my house I'd call my mom and tell her about it. That's spreading news. The goods news I spread has to be really good or else I just keep it to myself. Much like the news I'm sure. I guess it's just a shame there's so much bad news in the world.
Speaking of yesterday's news, I found it pretty funny that still only one in ten Americans aged 18 - 24 can point out Iraq on a map of the world. Only 4 in 10 could identify New York.