Media pitfalls

The news media serve us well in many ways, but in other ways, their shortcomings are predictable:

Negative

  • First inflation is bad, then deflation is bad.  The weak dollar is bad, then the strong dollar is bad.  Higher oil prices are bad, then lower.  Automation eliminates jobs (but creates about as many).  Americans are unhappy (when polls show them happy).
  • The reporter at a disaster is doom and gloom, while the victims behind are calm and col­lected.  At one house they are joking while cleaning up, but the camera zooms in on another house where a woman is sobbing.

Negative media

On one hand our media draw inspiration from heroes; on the other, they look for reasons to give up.  On talk shows and in advice columns, we are told:  a job transfer brings ‘pain’, and moving to another country means ‘cultural shock’.  Being ‘thrown’ out of work is ‘traumatic’, and standing in an unemployment line brings ‘the stigma of a rape victim’.
They tell us inflation is bad, then deflation is bad; the strong dollar is bad, then the weak dollar; higher oil prices are bad, then lower.  Unemployment and inflation make up a ‘misery index’.

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