News of Murder and Mayhem . . . Is That All There Is?


2014-09-07 – The news is scary.

We say this like the news has always been a soothing bedtime story and suddenly . . . a cloud has appeared in the sky it’s gotten very dark? Do people not remember World War II, World War I, the Civil War, the Great Depression, rioting in the streets, police brutality, deadly epidemics, the Inquisition?

The news of those and many more events may have moved slower once. But it moved. We always have been unsettled not just by the atrocities of history but by the news of atrocities. We think the news is more awful now than ever because it is now. But there have been many todays before today. Today’s murderous rampage will be tomorrow’s old news.

That doesn’t, however, make today’s news less tragic or stories of the past more tragic.

In the late 1960s, we were wowed by the immediacy of coverage of the Vietnam war. Satellites were first making it possible to see footage of the fighting the day it happened. We thought the immediacy would change the way wars are fought and, more importantly, would bring that war to an end, because people could see the carnage real time.

Didn’t happen. Vietnam became the longest war in our country’s history. Until Afghanistan and Iraq came along. If anything, real time coverage of these wars has prolonged them. Because coverage of war and mayhem spotlights and rewards those who commit these atrocities. Maybe. Maybe not.

Of course, chaos is not the only thing going on in the world. Reporting solely on murder and death is only part of the truth of the world. We don’t hear much about the other parts.

* * *

When you go to testify in a court of law, you are sworn to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” We swear to tell the “whole truth” because, while a partial truth may pass a fact check, it doesn’t give a fair picture. We can lie with words, but we can also lie with silence. On October 1 we will be celebrating one day for truth. It’s called Diogenes Day. Let your friends know. Find out more info by clicking the Diogenes Day link at the top of my blog page.

One response to “News of Murder and Mayhem . . . Is That All There Is?

  1. Pingback: The News is Not “Reality TV” | Eightoh9·

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