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posted: 8/28/2014 12:01 AM

24-hour news cycle hardly enlightening

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24-hour news cycle hardly enlightening

As somebody who remembers the days when TV stations went off the air at midnight or so, and most people's idea of talk radio was the DJ announcing the next song, today's 24 hour news is not the source of enlightenment that it was cracked up to be.

When the missing Malaysian airplane was reported, a 5- to 10-minute story became around the clock coverage. There was no news, but just days of speculation, none of which has helped solve the mystery.

Then the 6-year-old girl who went missing was fodder for the legal programs that pretty much tried and convicted the parents. Yes, the parents were creepy, but spending an hour talking about how it couldn't have been anyone else, looks rather presumptuous, i.e. stupid, now that a teenage neighbor has confessed.

But the worst has got to be coverage of the death of Robin Williams. Why does a newscaster ask a question about the level of rigor in his body? This isn't CSI. Why do any of us need that information?

And then there is Rush Limbaugh. Did you hear he said Robin's leftist leanings caused his suicide? To say that more people kill themselves under Democratic leadership is moronic. Robin Williams didn't throw himself out of an office building because the stock market collapsed (as it did in 1929 under a Republican).

The death of Robin Williams is not about politics. It is about the pain and torture and tragedy that mental health disorders cause their sufferers and those who love them. Although one in four people will experience mental illness in their lifetime, commentary such as this perpetuates the stigma and fortifies barriers to treatment.

I miss the days of 30 minutes of news on television and the rest from the newspaper.

Geri Kerger


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