“Why should I listen to you?” was a rhetorical question asked and answered a few decades ago when I decided to stop watching the news.
Initially, my reason was a simple one. I lived alone with my first Doberman during the time of a series of home invasions in my own and surrounding neighborhoods. The local Houston news graphically called them the ‘Kick-In Burglars”; fitting, since once these crooks kicked in the front door, they could proceed on to do whatever they wished.
What value, I reasoned, was daily listening to details about these frightening break-ins? I had my dog, my pepper spray next to my bed and my 38 on the floor under it- I had done all I could think of to protect myself. Listening to the endless nightly reports simply scared me and to no avail. Over the years, my reasons for opting out of the national, perhaps global, obsession with the nightly news grew at an exponential rate.
Therefore, I was surprised and pleased, to read Adriana Huffington’s post on LinkedIn the other day. Her message?
The news media is far too removed from the reality of main stream life. Despite the fact that we are living in what is the ‘safest period’ of human history, the print and visual news media are filled with violence, murder and mayhem, locally and around the globe. Liberally quoting from Steven Pinker’s latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Huffington observes that big city rates of murder, rape and other felonies are significantly lower than in twenty years yet our print and media news men and women defend their nightly forecasts of fear and gloom.
Imagine a diet of news no longer grounded in fear?