FAKE NEWS

FAKE NEWS ~ Do you find the news disturbing? I mean the news on CNN and the big network TV newscasts.

Me too, and I am going to tell you why. Perhaps you will respond by telling me your problems with the news presentations you watch.

CNN first. I don’t like the way they produce each breaking story with a drum roll or other annoying music or sounds. I don’t like the artsy backgrounds they put around their newscasters. Sometimes, when two or more people are in the shot, from different locations, each person will have a different floating background and even colored borders.

Then there are the little banners everywhere, simultaneously informing me of the time and stock prices in three different time zones and three, or more, different stock markets.

While the backgrounds, borders, time zones and market moves are being shown, there is a banner streaming across the bottom of the screen with many different stories parading across in a kind of newscast shorthand.

The CNN logo often appears on the screen in several places, in case I should forget what I’m watching. In separate banners the names of the presenters, the name of the show and the names and titles of the people being interviewed.

They distract me with all that stuff. While I count those 30 different screen elements competing for my attention, they present very important stories, all with President Trump as the main player. I think they may be out to get him.

Good!

But, meanwhile, they are neglecting news from other corners of the country and the world. Surely there are interesting and important events unfolding in the most populous countries like China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia and Japan. Each of the countries has a bigger population than the United States in the year I was born. Not to mention the Eurozone with over 341,000,000 people struggling to create unity. There are things going on in these places that are vital to Americans, and I want to know wazup?

The four biggest broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all have world news programs every evening. They suffer from many of the same problems that CNN has but they have only 30 minutes to annoy me and they ignore news of the world. They are all “Americacentric.”

Don’t get me started on how they choose which stories to present. They all, pretty much, don’t get the big picture. Trump, fire, terrorism, flood, accidents, crime and mayhem are all popular. No wonder people pay attention to ads for home security systems, assault gadgets, prescription drugs and such. The world is falling apart and getting worse every day. Right?

Or is it? I could counter by saying that I have lived in great cities for much of my life and I have never been assaulted, or robbed, or even heard a weapon discharged. I seldom see accidents and I see signs of good governance everywhere.

The roads and bridges function, the streets are safe to walk, and, should a problem occur, police and rescue workers respond quickly. I’d like to see the news give a more balanced view of things.

HERE’S A SHORT STORY.

I once worked with a very wise physician named Michealover. He was much older than me and I can’t remember his first name.

I recommended a magazine article to him – one that I thought he’d find interesting. Before he read the piece he searched the mag for the masthead. He was concerned about learning the quality of the people publishing before reading the story. I have often followed his lead on this.

Most people. I believe, don’t give a lot of thought to the source of the news they talk about and are, therefore, often mislead by the stories circulating about our government and politicians. Editorial material may be masquerading as news.

REAL NEWS – THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Even though I have seen eighty New Year’s mornings, I am mobile and surprisingly durable. But to some, my old face and bent frame may be thought provoking – I get it. I’d be better off if I smiled more and ate a frog every morning.

I felt a little cramped sitting in my car awaiting a pickup notice from Uber. (I drive for them in my spare time.) Since sDaytona’s Tuscawilla Park neighborhood is deserted most days, I decided to get out of my car to stretch the old Achilles tendons. I always feel better after a stretch.

So, it may have looked like I was trying to roll my Kia over. I was surprised when the red SUV passed by, and I was wowed when it backed up a good 500 feet and stopped. The driver rolled down the window and asked, “Sir, are you okay?

I, of course replied, with a smile, “Sure. Thank you so much for asking.”

She, the black woman driving, gave me a brilliant smile and said, “Just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

I take this simple action as another sign of good governance – people of different races and sexes caring for each other without fear. The spirit of the Good Samaritan Parable lives on. If you read the novel, Stealing Ali, you will find other instances of the spirit at work.

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