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Does CNN stand for Certain Negative News?

I was listening to an interview with Angie Gregg, (the daughter of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro) and she hopes that people understand her father's actions are not a reflection on her family."We don't have monster in our blood," she said.

But, that’s a lie:  we all have “monster blood” -- including you who are reading this blog, as the American people lust after every salacious detail of evil crimes.

My CNN Breaking News app alerts me to evil doings all the time.  Beep, beep – “joker” guns down patrons in movie theater, gunman kills kids in elementary school, bomb goes off at Boston Marathon. Keep your phone alerts on as the next horror might be this morning!

CNN covered these events wall-to-wall, and quickly pivoted from the Boston bombers to extensive coverage of an evil man who for ten years tortured and imprisoned three young girls.

If you don’t like the tabloid style focus on tragedy, it isn’t CNN’s fault; they’re only reporting what the public wants to hear.  And as the crimes escalate in horror, so do CNN’s ratings as Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan roll TV specials promising “new details.”

(I have to admit, I’m one of those people who watches these specials.)

The escape of the girls who were held hostage is sadly, not to freedom, but now to another kind of imprisonment, where they will once again be robbed of being who they are.  They’ll be seen and known only in terms of what was done to them rather than who they are.

In the end, ALL of us, including myself, have committed a despicable crime against these girls every time we yearn for the details of this crime. 

The victims haven’t gone outside in ten years. And now, they can’t go outside without being mobbed by reporters, and without having cameras and microphones shoved in their faces at every turn.

 Our “monster blood” is doing it again to them.


Anonymous said...

I stopped watching any news about 4 years ago and I must say that I am much happier. I highly recommend it and I ask that, if you work in the health care profession, you don't have the new on in the waiting room.

Trent Aaron said...

More like Constantly Negative News

Anonymous said...

The recent coverage of Sandy Hook, The Boston Marathon and now the dreadful Cleveland kidnapping, Jodi Arias, the IRS 'Scandal" has been the final nail in the media's coffin for me - non stop bombardment of ill defined emotional coverage with no journalistic integrity ... this may sound snobby but as I Brit I have reverted back to BBC News and the world service ... keeps me sufficiently informed a lot saner and a lot happier ... Patricia M

Loren Ekroth said...

We're on the same page, Judy. At
my church (Center for Spiritual Living Las Vegas), our fine founding minister Rev. Cynthia Clair tells us that CNN = "Constantly Negative News," and her good counsel is "Watch very little or no news." Not good for the soul, mind, and body to do so.
As we know, almost all media follows the maxim, "If it bleeds, it leads." Yikes! To avoid the stream of awfulness is not being Pollyannish. Just mindful and prudent.

Moulin Rouge said...

I don't bother watching the news. If it's important, I'll find out about it anyway. But concerning your comments, I would agree that the public has little respect for privacy these days. Privacy has become a rare commodity indeed, in an age where everyone seems to want to display their every passing thought and act on social networks, reality shows and documentaries, for everyone to see--and rip apart. Let's start by respecting the right of other not to know every little thing about us. A bit of discretion, even a little mystery, can be a good thing...

susanmyra said...

I'm sure the TV movie will be palpably scintillating. Under what bizarre thinking could this guy be pleading Innocent unless by reason of insanity? And of course he would have to be insane to do what he did. So I imagine he'll be locked up for good because he had 10 years to think about it and didn't figure out that his actions were illegal, immoral, cruel, unjust, heinous, unforgivable...

Roberta Guise said...

Judy, human beings like a spectacle. It would seem that the more public the spectacle, the better.

In ancient Rome, spectators would crowd into the Coliseum to watch gladiators fight, often to death. For centuries in Europe people would watch public hangings.

In some countries women are still stoned to death, while the public cheers on those perpetrating the stoning.

In Western society the spectacle has become the televised car chase (remember the OJ Simpson freeway chase dominating programming for days?), "rubbernecking" freeway accidents, and dramatic rescues, such as the three women who were kidnapped, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Lee Dugard.

So I conclude that it's in our nature to be mesmerized by extreme events. The media have a responsibility to back off, and our responsibility is to remind them. If they do leave the women alone, we'll quickly forget and turn our attention to the next breaking news flash.

Oscar Wildedog said...

It is a "chicken or egg" thing really - does the media put this crapola out because the public wants it, or does the public watch it because that's all there is? Fortunately, for me, I am we'll-read, seek out and consume all types of content from many different and varied genres and viewpoints.

In fact, I've had some success with some of my Mort Sahl approaches to comedy. I've been getting on-campus gigs where we find the humor in the news, in society, in the world - whatever, then we talk about it afterwards.

Too many comics I feel try to "dumb it down," or appeal to the lowest common denominator. I try to teach, at least and incite, at best with my offerings.

Karen said...

Your thinking is so right-on. I thought you were going to relate this to your book as these women will certainly have a story of their own. As in the Smart Case, the Smart girl has used her story to share with others the importance of fighting for your freedom and not letting fear of the captors overwhelm you.

Mr Ed The person not... said...

I am also guilty of being a monster. Here is my question Judy or anyone else. What do you call these idiots who attempt to make jokes about these things, besides Idiots? It is only human to be interested in these stories, it is not human to joke about them.

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Elaine Williams said...

I love what you wrote. I try to limit my exposure to news for lots and lots of reasons. And yes, we all have a dark side.....There's more power in ankowleding it, than running from it....


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