One morning during winter break, I sat watching one of those typical news shows (it could have been anyone one of them) where two anchors report the latest news events for about an hour and a half.
I had hoped to start my day by informing myself on the morning’s developments in our nation and our world. To my astonishment, I was not informed of any ongoing crises in this world. Had the Iraq War finally ended? Were the tsunami-ravaged regions finally rebuilt? Was California given a break from the snow and rain? Had no shots, explosions or other violent acts been committed within this nearly two hour period?
For this short period of time, our world was in a state of peace. With no urgent news at hand, the news anchors were finally able to focus on the real stories. I had grown tired of hearing about the reality of death and destruction. So, I listened intently.
Television viewers were informed on the secrets of the French physique, Prince Harry’s Nazi debacle, the weekend movies to see and not to see, and all the latest gossip over the upcoming Oscars. As I sat learning that French women savor their food in moderation, Elektra suffers from the curse of Ben Affleck and Prince Harry is the world’s biggest moron (despite a fine education), I realized that all of the stories of death and destruction were just “filler” for these pressing news stories.
How can anyone possibly worry about the newest death toll in Iraq when Jamie Foxx received three Golden Globe nominations? The report on how important fashion is at these award ceremonies enlightened me to the life of a show biz star. But wait, no more diets–French women are encouraging people to eat the foods that they enjoy.
Once this news program ended and the next one aired, the temporary world peace came to an end. The anchor reported on the court-marshalling of U.S. Army Spc. Charles Graner, Jr. for his role in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the latest developments in the Iraq war and the rising waters in South California and the Midwest. As I watched and listened to the stories I originally tuned in for, depression began to set in. Finally, watching the news wasn’t entertainment or a joke anymore. Without haste, a beautiful news bunny and hunky reporter returned to report on the And 1 street basketball team; the peace had returned.
In the end, Spc. Charles Graner, Jr. became the scapegoat in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, as there was a failure by journalists to question the roles of top Pentagon officials. While the real news was swept under the rug, we at least know how French women stay thin.
Sam Rega can be contacted at email@example.com.