Turn Off the News

Must know, need to hear all the details, gotta tell me right now! I suppose nearly all inventions/societal changes can be viewed in both a positive and negative light. Even slice bread can get moldy and drugs can be used for medicinal purposes. My purpose is not to stop or comment on all progress.  With this blog entry, I will throw in my two cents for the need or the lack thereof for 24 hours news.

I clearly understand that Hurricane Irene has the potential to be the most devastating storm to hit the Northeast in a long time. I do not live under a rock.  How are these last two statements related, you may be wondering? Well, I think those living under a rock or those still high from the Kardashian wedding are the only people who have not heard the news about Irene. I am not sure that the constant blare about Irene is a good thing. It certainly makes sense that this perpetual news focus would encourage people to be more prepared. Should the worst happen, this extra preparation could save lives. This is, inarguably, a good thing.   However, it is a type of fear mongering. The news outlets hype up the potential for disaster, find myriads of news angles many of which are tangentially related, and ultimately seem to have a goal to scare the viewer.  I used to think there was a deal between the dairy farmers and the weathercasters. The weathercasters predict a potentially disastrous weather outcome and milk sales rise. All of a sudden, everyone should feel a need to keep three gallons in the house when normally they go through half a gallon a week.

Ultimately, I think 24 hour news allows people the potential to be much more informed. I am just not sure that the subject matter requires one to be so informed. I believe following the boy scout credo of be prepared is the way to go. You can leave out the fear.

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