Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another day in hell


When will we all get fed up with this culture of paranoia? As a country we are obsessed with our own mortality and about whatever ills may befall us. Being in a crisis is what gets the media wet with excitement these days. We cannot wait for the next problem to erupt, and damn it, if there isn't a problem, we'll create one. This is the culture of journalism today, there is no regard for truth, only the pursuit of sensationalized garbage to fill the ticker at the bottom of the screen.
This week has been no different from the past few years where sensationalized news has been the norm. We were blessed with an alleged terrorist plot on the New York subway AND a strange, Third-world version of the flu.
Nothing fills white space in newspapers and magazines quite like terrorist plots in today's news. The flamboyant New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg stood in front of a very flustered group of serious looking officials and warned the world about an aborted terror plot that was supposed to take place in the subway. Being someone who has traversed the subway system many times, I have to admit apathy at this warning. If you're on the subway and it blows up the aesthetics of the station will most likely be improved and the only thing you'll feel is a muchneeded breeze. If you happen to be the one on the subway car that goes down, the chances are pretty good that you just have a lot bad karma built up.
People outside of New York City are likely the only people who took note of this earth-shattering warning .
New Yorkers are tough people and the media played up this situation to give their faithful readers and watchers , though who knows how many people are actually literate these days, something to bitch about the next day at work in order to make themselves believe they're smart.
With the teary-eyed Brian Williams or the ubersincere Lester Holt breaking the news to us about the close call to New York we are powerless to resist breathing a deep sigh of relief about an event that no one really needed to know about.
What is better than being bludgeoned over the head with insignificant news items and being forced to believe they have relevance? Here's an idea: a strain of the flu that has the possibility of striking down villagers in some tremendously insignificant region of the world.
Taking the heat off hurricane relief and terror plots is the Avian Bird Flu, the chic sickness du jour. This flu is yet another strain of flu which has stricken people that most of us will never be able to care about. In the piss poor conditions of Burma or Bangladesh it looks as if even the chickens and other birds are getting packed in a little too tight. Every year there is some sort of sickness that takes out the overpopulated areas of the world and everyone is afraid for a few weeks and then it passes. Like the waxing and waning of the moon, it is assured that some of the less fortunate will be eradicated in cycles each year.
Even the president chimed in on the bird flu in classic nonchalant fashion, saying that the real trouble is 'when it goes from bird to person, to person.' This is something that a few eggheads from the United Nations care about because its their job to give a damn about Botswana, but otherwise it should really scare no one. Let us thank journalism in this country though, friends.
Instead of a sickness sweeping through worthless Third-world 'nations', we are force-fed a line of crap which makes us care about this and fear something that civilized nations have nothing to do with.
Journalism has become so sensationalized in our current atmosphere that every story is blown out of proportion to the point of absurdity. Print journalism is nearly dead and television is taking over. Television news is a total abortion of fact, no matter if you watch FOX news or CNN, all of it is biased, slanted, and sensationalized.
Do not trust anything that claims to be unbiased and be wary of those who claim neutrality. The news is crap and the quicker you learn that, the better off you'll be. So the next time you're trying to impress people with the latest breaking news please heed my call and realize that the Avian flu doesn't mean a thing and no one really cares about made-up terror plots.


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