Thursday, October 05, 2006

Network News...Tragedy and Trivial

This is nothing new. On the one hand, I felt touched by this morning's network news. The continued reports of the school shootings, both in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and the recent Colorado high school shooting, inform me of a tragic situation. As an educator, I am troubled by these random events that kill, wound, and terrify children. The power of forgiveness is getting air time because of the actions of the dear Amish folks. I think that part is very cool.

On the other hand, the network news groans on and on. Quickly following those stories of impact came two stories that I find annoying and trivial. I'll start with Anna Nicole Smith and the odd death of her 20 year old son at the time of her baby girl's birth. And who is the baby's father? And now the news of an attorney in California daring her to come to the west and submit the baby to a paternity test. I'm shaking my head in humorous dismay. How does this crazy story keep dear Anna in the headlines? Who cares?

Where are the stories of amazing people out there behaving in a way that impacts the world with reasonable life choices and personal sacrifice that impact the world for good? Those stories deserve the noteriety. Celebrity status so regularly goes to those whose lives are riddled with personal choices that the rest of us should walk on past. I know...the ratings.

The other story, not so trivial, but being dragged before us with myth and speculation, is the story of Mr. Foley and his e-mail indiscretions. That's bad and very sad. He resigned. The wearisome stuff for me is the never ending speculation about who knew what and when they knew it and did they do enough and losing the House or the Senate...blah, blah, blah. Lots of opinions being shared...and people are proclaimed guilty until proved innocent by a sound bite. Maybe I'm just too suspicious of this type of story so close to Election Day. I was an intern in state government in the Midwest during college days. And yes, a few elected officials do behave badly, according to my first-hand observatio. I'm not denying that possibility. But I search for the significant news in the Foley folley as reported day by day. Lots of distractions.

I do enjoy National Public Radio news. It is more balanced in my estimation. The stories are more news worthy to me and less gossipy.

Oh, yes, we are still at war in Iraq, right? That falls deep into the news pile, leaving the headline status behind. That is tragic, too.