Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What makes News News?

Part of my morning ritual is watching Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” morning show. For those of you who think my watching this channel makes me a conservative, we will take that up in some other column.

This morning the show was broken into for yet another high speed chase. It seems a 2-door Saturn had run a stop sign somewhere in the Los Angeles vicinity and didn’t stop when a police car gave chase. Apparently a news helicopter was already in the air and had nothing better to do than follow the chase.

For the next ten minutes all that was covered on this cable news network was the gripping video of a Saturn speeding down a highway. As the camera struggled to stay centered on the car, various voices dredged up all the information they could about the runaway Saturn. They even found at least one man who was willing to speculate that the car might have been stolen, may have a hostage, for that matter, it could be driven by Osama bin Laden himself!

Unlike the rest of America, I had no interest in the chase, even after the great speculator told me what could be involved. No, my mind wandered off into what exactly is it about a “high speed chase” that makes it worth covering on a national, even an international, news channel.

I left before the chase was finished. I don’t even know who won! I don’t know what to make of an alleged news channel deciding to skip over the news of the day to focus on a Californian car chase. I do know that it is illustrative of how out of touch our culture is with reality.

It is too easy for us to get caught up in the immediacy of the moment. The “if it feels good, do it” philosophy has carved its way so deeply into our societal psyche that news is the event/adventure of the moment.

Life is meant to be deeper and richer than this! Live in the moment, but not for the moment.


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