In conversations with various acquaintances, I often hear them say, “I don’t read the newspaper any more. There’s nothing but bad news day in and day out.”
“If it bleeds, it leads,” is a saying in the news business.
Of course. No one would rush out to buy a newspaper if there was a headline that read “Nothing noteworthy or untoward happened today.”
There is a certain schadenfreude evident when reading about calamity as it befalls another human being. I remember reading an item about Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She (allegedly), had a throw pillow on her divan embroidered with a message that read, “If you can’t say anything good about someone, come sit by me.”
Who among us does not read of the misdeeds and antics of celebrities? Many times their good deeds and charity work goes unnoticed if they are even mentioned. The topics must be about the seven deadly sins to capture our interest.
There are various lists as well as opinions on the origin of the seven deadly sins.
One list dates back to the ancient Babylonians and was matched to the then known seven heavenly bodies, sun, moon and five planets.
Pope Gregory listed them in 1600 as envy, greed, gluttony, pride, avarice, lust and sloth and used them as teaching tools.
There seem to be a lot of examples of one or more of the deadly sins in our daily newspapers.
The story of the women held captive by a sadistic monster for ten years may be attributed to lust. Even though they are safe now, I wonder about the residual effects on their psyches.
The $45 million heist by computer hackers most certainly can be labeled greed and avarice.
Where would you place the bombing of the Boston marathon? Some sins don’t fit into the category of the seven deadly sins.
Shooting of our young people on the streets of Chicago is increasing. To which category does that belong?
I often find myself wondering as I retire at night what story will grip us in the morning. Sadly, there is always a new disaster unfolding.
Catastrophes and disaster are what sell newspapers to a hungry public looking for just that.
Don’t fault the people who bring us the news. In other words, don’t blame the messenger.