We Americans sure do love crap news, don’t we? Why is it that we have such an infatuation with the things occurring in the world that have absolutely no value while we ignore all the important stuff?
I cannot figure out why we concentrate on nonsense but avoid discussing real topics whenever possible. The things that matter get swept under the rug, or worse yet, not covered at all, while the latest celeb news stays on the front page for days. Let’s take a look at what is “important” to us as of late:
- About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, and it’s not covered once on the news. Yet Lindsay Lohan – a washed-up child actor – gets the front page every time she breaks probation or is found in a hotel with some married guy.
- In the last 12 years, over 2.5 million men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Reserves have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight in those wars. Many of these brave souls come back with all sorts of terrible injuries and PTSD which they will deal with for the rest of their lives, never mind the fact that the war is barely mentioned on the news anymore. Do they get the attention they deserve? Nope, but Kim Kardashian and her baby sure does. After all, she is much more important than the U.S. soldiers we send into harm’s way.
- Kate Middleton is going to have a baby! Yeee! Know who else does this rather common human activity every day? Hundreds of thousands of other women, many of whom are poor or sick, and don’t have access to healthcare for themselves or their babies. But hey, at least the “royal” baby makes us care about something. As I write this, the CNN homepage has a section up titled “Labor Day for Kate” and MSNBC is running the image below. That’s news, for sure.
- A former VP of Mobil is now warning us about the dangers of fracking and climate change. Are we paying attention to this guy? Nope, because we are too busy reading about ‘Modern Family’ star who is getting married.
- Hey look at that NBA star autographing a baby! That story is on the front page of several news sites right now. Know what isn’t? The discussion about living wages in DC, aimed at paying people for the work they do.
- Climate change is affecting us all right here and now, and it’s only going to get worse. While that story should be on the news every night – because it tends to involve the very survival of our species – instead, we get to read about Michael Jackson’s mother getting angry while she is on the stand in some lawsuit.
- Last week, the (alleged – gotta protect myself there!) Boston Bomber was put on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Oh, the outrage! Oh, we’re so angry! Meanwhile, not only did his picture appear on the cover of every newspaper and website back when they found him, but the media completely ignores real issues to be outraged over. Did you know that Philadelphia is cutting school budgets while spending $400 million on new prisons? Or that schools around the nation are cutting the pay of teachers, most of whom are already underpaid?
Who cares about all this crap?
We ignore – by choice, mind you – the important stuff in favor of celebrating nonsense and being faux outraged over absolutely nothing of any consequence. While Rome burns around us, we excitedly search for the latest celebrity DUI, who is going to host The View, or which model is going to be the next one to date George Clooney. We can do better, don’t you think?
I hope so. We can at least try, that alone would be refreshing.