Speculation In the News

John Cameron Swayze

Here is a comment with no facts to back it up: Most of the news is not news at all, but speculation. My theory is that there are not enough new facts every day to fill up the media. Where we once had 15 minutes of daily national TV news by John Cameron Swayze, now we have hours and hours of it. Yet there are just not that many new things happening day after day. We stretch it out by adding  importance to trivia, or by speculating ad nauseam.

(What parent would name their son “Cameron,” even as a middle name?  Must be a family connection.)

Politics is a large source of the speculation. Will this person run or not? How much support will they get? Often, while I am wading through this dreck, I am thinking, Just wait for a few days for the election, and we will know for sure. Then, most of this speculation will become superfluous.

If you want to see speculation in its purest form, turn to the sports page. Okay, the Eagles have signed a new team member. That is less than a minute on TV or one short paragraph in the newspaper. That’s not going to keep anyone in the media employed (or viewers engaged). Instead, lets talk about it . . . endlessly. How may this change the game strategy? Who on the team may be hurt by the addition? Will the new guy be happy in Philadelphia? How could it change choices for future additions? Any writer worth their salt could go on and on almost forever, and most do.

This blog is also a good example. I can assure you it is much, much easier to speculate on why things are the way they are rather than dig out the facts to prove the case. I am taking the easy way right now.

I propose a website called something like “Factual News,” that would present only the facts. Some days would be short because little happened. Some days would be long because many things happened.  That’s how life is.

Nah! Nobody would read it. We love speculation and are hooked on it. We don’t even recognize it, anymore. It’s ubiquitous, like the air we breathe. Facts can be a distraction, inviting the reader or viewer to draw their own conclusions. We prefer to rely on another person’s judgement than to figure things out ourselves. George Will? He is a smart guy, so whatever he says must be true.

RWalck@Verizon.net

 

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in Aging, History, Popular culture. Bookmark the permalink.

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