Media hype and over reaction

I swear it seems the media is getting worse with each passing year about becoming breathless with broadcasting or printing the latest news and evaluation of current events.   There seems to be so little restraint these days and reflection before grand pronouncements.   Every earthquake is the worst ever, every economic problem is the worst ever, each market dip is a forecast of immediate doom.   You would think we live in the proverbial China shop and everything is about to be broken.  This is especially true when it comes to personal news regarding celebrities or economic matters.  The last 6 months have been a pretty good example of this hyperventilating reportage.   Fannie Mae would have a problem and houses are posted for foreclosure and bam, the headlines read we are in the worst economic circumstances since the Great Depression.   People who say things like that obviously have no knowledge of the Great Depression whatsoever.   We’re talking over 20% unemployment rate and no new industries  and no safety nets like we have today like food stamps, welfare payments, SSI, unemployment benefits, medicaid, etc.   People made do with very little.  

That kind of comparison is such balderdash but I have heard it and I bet you have too.  I enjoy reading the news and do so every day.   I also like to remember and study my history a bit.  Some institute or think tank will produce a study about the credit situation and you would think the world as we know it has ended based upon that study.   Usually, the study or release of financial data is for a month, a quarter or a year.   The response to the data is instantaneous.   Yes, they may have some useful information and it might even be correct.   But the meaning is rarely that apparent within a day or so as the media pundits would have you believe.   The markets in particular used to take longer to digest the latest releases of financial data and then react.   The market moved slower which I think was a good thing.   That time lag allowed for thought rather than merely making decisions on an emotional reaction.   Today you have fnn msnbc and even cnn and Fox news jumping out with an analysis before the ink is dry with some alleged “expert” on exactly the topic at hand.   We have an enormously complex economy and truth be told no one person has a grasp on the meaning and implication of every development.   Sometimes the matters announced with such forboding tones turn out to have little or no impact on our economy at all.  

The media sells excitement.  If you really want thoughtful analysis of world events and geopolitical strategy then read Foreign Affairs.  You want economic news ready the Wall Street Journal or Financail Times.   Like celebrities,,,,,well I confees I don’t realy know about the media for them but I know there are lots out there for you to choose.  Foreign Affairs has  long articles boringly written for the most part but usually profound and insightful about nations regions and global trends.   But it is not exciting.   The media wants you to see one of their reporters garbed in a flak jacket with smoke rising in the background rather than give you some meaningful insight to what is occuring and why.  They are terrible at the why.  When they do try why, it is always from an ideological view.   I would much prefer a factual presentation and some real history and then analysis without a pre ordained prespective being presented as the truth.  There are lots of legitimate sources of information  for political, economic and military events occuring around the world.  I have no problem with folks who like to hear about celebs and the trivia of daily life as their news.  That is fine and has its place.   What I don’t like is the media reacting to each world or national event with that same smirky smugness that they use when telling you about Paris Hilton’s latest escapade.

The media will not report in the manner that is useful to intelligent analysis and reflection on the major issues of the day.  You dear reader are going to have to be your own editor of the news.   You need to be your own analyst.   The conclusions you hear and see on the news are likely not as good as your own if you apply your brain and some knowledge of events and history.  The ship has sailed and glitz and glitter reporting even on serious matters is what we are going to get for the foreseeable future so please have a questioning mind.  

All motion is relative.   The very concept only makes sense if there are at least two objects in the universe.  If there was only one, the idea would be pointless.   Think of all the “motions” there are around you each day as you go about your mundane endeavors.   Speed is a term to describe motion but only as it relates to time and distance.   Without time and distance what would speed mean?   We will explore some of these thoughts more.   I hesitate because my understanding of Relativity is tenuous at best but I do find it fascinating and magical in a way.   I mean how can a two rods that are exactly the same length really not be measured the same length when they are put in motion?   Weird but true.

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1 Comment

Filed under Culture, history, Politics

One response to “Media hype and over reaction

  1. blu

    it’s true that the media hypes many events. they contribute to our general anxiety as a culture. but what else can they do?

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