This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published March 6, 2016 by The Washington Times.
Ever wonder why the news is so depressing?
Except for a rare human interest story or a scientific breakthrough, the news is rife with crime, economic misery, terrorism, war, cultural insanity, pathos and political posturing.
Right now, we seem to be heading right toward a cliff or a whirl on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
No one tunes in to see a happy, intact family sit down for dinner. Well, maybe at the end of a “Waltons” re-run or a “Blue Bloods” episode. But those are fictional.
We’re talking news here, which by definition is 95 percent negative or bizarre. Plus, way too many government-declared “crises,” which the media are only too happy to magnify.
The tendency toward sensationalism, especially violence, is summed up nicely by the well-known phrase, “If it bleeds, it leads.” No one’s quite sure who coined it. Answers.com says the phrase surfaced in a Broadcasting magazine article in 1982, was cited in TV Guide in 1983, and was popularized by New York magazine in a 1989 article by Eric Pooley titled “Grins, Gore, and Videotape — The Trouble with Local TV News.”
When someone who just consumed lots of bad news says we’re living in the worst of times, ponder the wonders of indoor plumbing and modern medicine, especially dentistry. Would anyone like to go back before Novocain and X-rays?
Finally, there are a lot of positive vibes going on if you know where to look. Veterans get standing ovations at public events. Supermarkets are still full of every kind of food under the sun, and gasoline has dropped under $2 a gallon. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Random acts of kindness abound. People are living longer.
Despite a relentless cultural assault on America’s founding values, the nation is still chugging along on the fumes of inherited virtues, such as faith, patriotism and personal responsibility. America is still the envy of the world, and though our shining light is tarnished, many candles of hope are being lit.
Passover is coming, along with Easter, the personification of Good News, which is what Gospel means. Nothing could be better news than being told that a loving God has made the ultimate sacrifice to free us from our own misdeeds and mistaken human expectations.
Need a shot of love? A remarkable piece of video was taken on Feb. 6 in Tennessee. It’s the last minute of a high school basketball game in which Franklin Road Academy’s team manager, Robert Lewis, who has Down syndrome, is in uniform on the court. As the crowd chants “Money Robert,” he gets the ball and goes up for the last shot of the game, a three-point attempt from the corner.
You’ll have to view the video (it’s easy to Google) to see what happens and what the crowd does. But keep a hanky handy.
This, after all, is a good news column.