KNOWING WHEN TO SAY “WHEN!”

Please allow me to write today about limiting my intake.

Intake of what? Food? Caffeine? Alcohol?

No, no, and no. I’m talking about TV news.

I have recently renewed my effort to limit my exposure to TV news. It is not uplifting or encouraging at all, because, let’s face it–bad news sells. (I remember years ago hearing a story about a newspaper that was created to report only good news, and that it did–and went bust less than a year after its founding.) And in the TV industry, as everywhere, it’s all about the money, right?

I now actively turn on the news only for the local weather forecast. Oftentimes, I have to suffer through local news stories while waiting for the forecast. However, the local news isn’t as bad as the national news, which is horribly sensationalistic in my opinion. ABC, NBC, and CBS want to hold the viewer’s attention, so they spread colorful graphics on the TV screen and have their anchors and reporters talk loudly and dramatically. Before now, I watched the national news’s reports about COVID and how it’s getting really bad again and how the vaccine’s effectiveness is waning, et cetera, and felt my face grow longer as the broadcast went on.

My one cousin once stated that the local news is actually more depressing than the national news. “First story–a murder. Second story–a murder. Third story–a stabbing. And so on.” (At the time, my cousin and I were both living in the Washington, DC area, so your local news may vary.) I respectfully disagreed, however. The local news is not nearly as discouraging as the national news.

For those of you who regularly watch Bad Morning America (Good Morning America) or The Blah Show (The Today Show): Have you ever noticed how at the end of every story, an anchor always says something like, “Such a tragic story. Thank you, Bruce,” or “Absolutely heartbreaking. Thanks, Jennifer.” They never say anything positive. That’s because there never is anything positive on those shows. Or so it seems.

Do you agree?

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