I wonder how many of us…as in the USA (and maybe in most developed nations)…have the question pop into our minds, say once a month, “What became of __________?” Fill in the blank with a news story that you were following with interest or just concern, that was on the billboard of cable news just a few weeks ago, or even last week, that seems to have suddenly fallen off the earth?
Cable news and its ability to deliver instantaneous “reports,” governed by the commercial money god, hits us with the “latest” developments…..”BREAKING NEWS,” as one major network says several times an hour….in its race to be the first to “tell us” and capture our fragile and very, very, very short memory cells for that moment, to listen with rapt attention, and then they bet, we will also listen to their commercial sponsors messages.
Now, sure, I am guilty as hell of falling for this presentation, but I do try to turn off or walk away at the commercial breaks, just out of spite if for no other good reason.
But what bothers me is how we, the great populaces, allow cable news to tell us what is on the “news marquee” for today and this week. What I want to know, is why they are no longer reporting for example, and a good one, on the suicide rate of American military members and our veterans. Tell me when you last heard about this in the news, unless perhaps on a PBS story. Or, what about the on the ground war details in Syria? Many months ago this was the daily story, so what happened? Did it just become so gruesome to our senses that “they,” who control the news marquee, just decided to not punish our sense of guilt any longer? Is that for them to decide? No, but I think it really had to do with that being “old news,” babies dying by the hundreds became old news. I could go on and on, stories I was following that now I have to go search for “current” information, and good luck with that. Another example, “caravans of rapists, drug dealers, and very bad people” coming from the south…..oh my, where did they go, did they stop? Are they now “here” and stalking our streets while we sleep? Oh, bullshit. But I am concerned about the families being torn apart, children ripped from their mothers and “disappeared.” Why did this story suddenly become non-news? We know why.
Every week, as I am sure you have noticed, the Marquis de Marquee pushes a few buttons and we are now in another world, where all past news stories have been deleted…oh sure, we can recover them of course, ha, ha…and informs us that NOW we will have senses inundated with the stories on the big sign the Marquis has selected for us.
I guess what bothers me about all this, is that it is not that the stories we follow with concern are not able to be found with some digging, but that the Marquis de Marquee is controlling the attention of most of us, and we aren’t even conscious of it, and do little or nothing to protest! So, each week – really now each day with Trump – there is a new set of news stories, and for the time being, Trump is the Marquis (“de Sade”), toying with the public and the world every new day, as if it is all his little basement play room.
The bright side is that from what I observe, the younger generation has pretty well tuned out cable news. In fact within a few years cable news may just perish, an ignoble death, for it could have done so much better had it had a conscience. I can’t wait.