Examining the news

by davidnielsen

I decided to read the headlines on a few news sites (cnn, nytimes and foxnews specifically, to hit a little of every spectrum)

The results for the 30th of December 2005

Guns are bad, two stories on tragic gun related deaths, the effect of giving guns to mentally unstable people still doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Also note the number of news stories on any of he sites mentioning “guns saving people from harm”.. ZERO. I get sad every time I hear that having a gun is a human right and advising caution when it comes to the spread of them one is a bleeding heart liberal. I personally live in a country with strict gun control, for a population of 5½ million, the police draw (not shot) their weapons around 250 times a year.. as a total not per cop, the amount of shots fired is far lower. I can infact not remember the last time a citizen shot another citizen in my town.. My conclusion must simply be that the average american is scared and the ideal that you have the right to have a gun gets used as a means to push fearmongering – why is it that liberatarians and conservatives claim that guns are essensial in keeping the government scared of the people? Clearly if the government wanted to kick our butts they have the army, high tech gadgets and nukes – face it if we rebelled aggression would probably not work – protesting is still the best first choice it seems, it worked for Gandhi why would it not work for us? Regardless freedom argument is being heavily abused to push fear to the people – if in doubt watch the news in the US, murders, rapes, terrorism – surely the world must be a scary place.. no? even when crime statistics have been going down for years, people get more and more scared – clearly the media is pushing fear like a drug instead of the truth.

Fox News also carries a top 10 junk science of 2005 story, from which I was unsurprised to see Intelligent Design left off, a theory so throughly disproved that even debating it still seems tiresome – It greatly angers me when people call any kind of science junk, sure some of the stuff people do with their time is well worth the Ig-Nobel award. But is it really junk, is anything really junk if it raises valid questions and maybe even answers a few – not to mention spread a bit of joy to those reading this rather bizare tales of science (I strongly recommend reading the Ig-Nobel award abstracts – they are funny). It also angers me when people paint religion as science as the ID advocates do, they abuse the meaning of the methodology and bring nothing of value to the table. Not only that they use their sheer number to push their agenda, when really between scientists there is not argument that evolution happened, we are just debating the details.

In the news today can also be found a great number of stories about famous people, but really who cares who Angelina Jolie is banging, as long as it’s not me.. I surely don’t. Why are we so obsessed with these people? Why is it we would rather hear about their latest sex scandale or breakup than participate in democracy… I’m beginning to think that it’s mostly because we are as a whole.. stupid and easily entertained (read: distracted).