Pickettwrites

from pickett&associates … exploring PR, social media and entrepreneurship

The Fleeting News Cycle March 11, 2011

Filed under: Random Thoughts — pickettwrites @ 4:48 pm

In this nice, comfortable room at the Magnificent Mile DoubleTree, we’ve had MSNBC on since the middle of the night, watching the devastating news from Tokyo. And we know the news is just going to get more tragic and devastating.

It put the fact that my cell phone woke up “DOA” this morning in perspective, I suppose.

And yesterday, as a Muslim member of the House of Representatives openly wept in his opening statements, I asked, “When did THIS start? And why were we 24/7 Charlie Sheen when this was going on?”

In trying to avoid the Charlie Sheen cesspool, I missed the news as well as Eugene Robinson’s editorial about these hearings. But the sad fact is that these days the hard-hitting news isn’t so easy to come by while the sludge sorta’ rises to the top … much like gaseous waste.  

And here’s a question … how is Congresswoman Gabby Giffords? You know, the victim of the tragic shooting in Tucson? Ironically, a story just posted today by our friends over at Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51123.html

Obviously, THAT news is buried by the earthquake today, but the question occurs to me, “How many of us have thought of her since her last condition update in late January?” And what does that say about our willingness to just follow the news cycle and flush everything else?

We are a fickle bunch, the consumer public; we are drawn to “the next big headline” like moths to a flame … and we waste no time in weighing in with our opinions. Angry. Abrasive. Off with their heads … And all that. We don’t need to look far to see it … the war of words and emotions between state legislators provides an angry, too-close-for-comfort illustration.

It makes me tired. More disturbingly, I know I’m not alone when I say, it just makes me turn on something else or turn off the news altogether. And if I, a self-professed nerdy news addict feels this way, what ‘s happening to the majority of the population? As one of my best friends from college – a high-powered, well-paid senior level executive for a major retailer says, “All I read in the Sunday paper is the ads.” And I know SHE is not alone.

Look, like we need to take responsibility for our own health needs and our own retirement plans, we need to take control of our own knowledge. We cannot sit idly by and allow the news networks (helloooo, the major corporations in America  own the networks … have you READ Ayn Rand?) to chart our course of knowledge.

Let us not be observers of our destiny. We must be active participants.

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