I managed to go the whole of March without posting anything on this blog. I thought that this was because this was a quiet time, and not much had happened. There were the well-covered incidents in Brussels, which needed no further comment from me. Of course, had I been living in a different country, I might be aware of bombs and suicide attacks, destruction of buildings, and ongoing loss of life on a daily basis. If I was an American, I could have been consumed by the primaries, and the fate of Sanders, Trump, or Clinton.
I realise that it isn’t a case of less news, just more of the same. Wars continue, elections rumble on, and it seems that the facts become more blurred, the opinions more varied, as the days pass. We become inured to it all. Watching the TV news about a bombing, or terror attack, they focus on whether or not any of the victims was associated with this country. If one hundred people are killed in Pakistan, or Kabul, it is only deemed worthy of mention if one foreigner was among the victims. It becomes the norm to gloss over the deaths of dozens of children or other civilians, as long as they were all ‘locals.’
The refugee crisis has dropped from the headlines, to be replaced by the non-news that our Prime Minister has been fiddling his taxes. Surely that went without saying? A junior minister is asked to resign over allegations that he might have suppressed newspaper reports about his relationship with a dominatrix. Nothing new there, let’s face it. The UK steel industry is on the verge of collapse, as Chinese imports flood the market. We all knew that, a long time ago.
What about the countless refugees? The wars? The ongoing struggle against ISIS? According to our media, this no longer seems to be newsworthy. If one of the states in the USA votes for Sanders, they quickly rush to inform us that he has no chance of winning anyway. When Trump is equally successful, they point to his inability to secure those votes in the actual election. Clinton might just as well spend the rest of the campaign in bed. She has already been elected, by the media.
A glance at the current BBC new headlines will reveal some waffle about our forthcoming EU referendum, (we will stay in, according to the polls) the minister referred to above, and more about the Panama financial leaks. Trump is complaining that he is going to lose, and a paralysed man has benefited from an implant, allowing him to once again play the guitar. You have to scroll down, to read about an earthquake in Myanmar, that affected nearby India. Read further, and you will see why this warrants a mention. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are holidaying ‘in the region.’ We are relieved to be informed that they were ‘unaffected.’ Scroll down again, and you might well miss an investigation into mass killings in Nigeria, surely the next place where religious wars will spiral out of control?
On the sidebar, we are treated to a video clip of a Czech police officer hitting fifty-one cars when he was drink-driving.
I saw an interview about news reporting some years back. One of the pundits claimed that “We get the news we deserve.” “If you don’t question, don’t complain, and accept what you are told, how will you ever know what’s really happening?” Maybe that man was right.
Or perhaps it’s just been a bit quiet lately.