We are a Cancer and There is No Cure

Panic Porn

The title of this post comes from the personal blog of former MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary, who quit recently over frustrations with the network’s obsession with ratings over informing the public and the serious negative effects this has had on the national discourse.  She believes this to be a systemic problem across the board with most mainstream news entities.

Shocking, I know!  Not really of course.  I’m sure many of you are fully aware of  the media’s long deathward spiral down the ratings toilet bowl in their never ending quest for eyeballs at the expense (and exhaustion) of the general public.  Take a partially true story, spin, tweak, edit and then spin again until the desired narrative comes about, then push it through the network channels and social media feeds until peak fear/outrage levels are reached.  Voila, instant ratings boost.

This got me thinking. Not so much about the horrid state of the news media, but on the simple fact that each day we have a variety of choices on which narratives to live by and that a thoughtful dissection on what they’re bringing to the table might be in order.

By narrative I mean the reality of what’s going on in the world and who is defining it.  For some it’s cable news, the internet or social media, for others it’s the daily paper or a favorite magazine with a cup of Joe ( my personal favorite, but who has the time!) and then of course there are those who avoid news all together.  For most of us it’s probably some combination of a few, but make no mistake, they all lay down tracks in our brains on what to concern ourselves with and why.

In this video,  a woman named Lorie Ladd goes deeper in to how our predefined labels about things can unconsciously create emotional knee jerk reactions that lead us to places of either fear or freedom.  “Oh that’s coming from FOX, I’m gonna respond this way, or oh that’s coming from CNN, I’m gonna respond this way.”  

While she gets a little too whooey hooey for me at times, she did get me thinking about ways I allow outside forces to mess with my emotions. We all do this and unless you live in a cave it can’t be helped. The important thing to do, according to Lorie, is to continually question what you’re listening/watching/reading and ask yourself, 

“How is this message making me feel and why am I choosing to believe a program, a system or a paradigm that is making me feel fear?”

Good questions!  While it’s important to be informed, it’s even more so to understand that the media is not our friend.   They employ reams of people whose jobs are to position “the news” in scary ways so headlines are clicked, people become fearful after reading the ensuing articles and then come back for more because the anxiety/outrage they now suffer from and the brain chemicals released from this drive a compulsive need to know more.

InsanityBytes 22 explains this well in her excellent post, The 12 Steps and Screaming Panic Porn:

“If you don’t know what Screaming Panic Porn is, it is click bait, it is propaganda designed to manipulate you into taking a peek, triggering an emotional response.  The mainstream media and advertisers are absolute experts at it, professionals. They know how to hook you.  They are wayyyy bigger and badder than you are.”

A reader of that post named HAT referenced an also excellent article called Coronavirus is Serious, but Fear is Optional which gets in to the nitty gritty on how news copy is created (hint, not for our benefit) and why it only matters that you open the article, not that it’s accurate or informative.  It’s a great read all around, but this one line sums up the gist.

When you read the news, you’re not actually becoming well- informed, you’re being emotionally exploited.”

I can think of no better example of this than the media’s hysterical coronavirus coverage,
with their daily drumbeat of positive case counts and continual showcasing of the saddest of sad outlier stories of  young, seemingly healthy people dying from it. No caveats on how daily stats are meaningless, no corrections made when numbers turn out to be wrong, 0 discussion on who really is dying in large numbers and no focus on recoveries, just one horror story after another. 

Yet this charts paint a very different picture.  Yes, case #’s have exploded (brown line) but daily deaths (black line) have remained relatively flat minus a few upticks in very localized hotspots.   

Covid Chart

This second shows Covid death have trended downward dramatically since its April peak with details broken out by age, which tells us who this virus effects most and where  resources should be directed.
Prov Death Counts

Yet color coded graphs and dry virology basics don’t sell very well, so the panic porn will continue until at least November 7th.

What’s to be done?  It’s important to be informed, but this involves work. Consume news but just enough to know what’s happening and question everything, especially if it’s triggering fear/outrage and is too comfortably in line with your thinking.

Just as important is to seek outlets that provide information but with the context needed to get the full picture.  This takes time but brings perspective, which helps to better pinpoint what’s truly  important amidst the daily barrage of garbage headlines thrown our way.

This leads to making rational decisions about how to or even if to respond to current events based on our personal assessment of things, not someone else’s whose agenda goes against our self interest.

Freedom over fear & empowerment over outrage leads to smart personal decisions made based on what works best for our own unique situations.  How quaint.


This entry was posted in Coronavirus, fear mongering, Political, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to We are a Cancer and There is No Cure

  1. Doug says:

    Just because the Constitution proclaims our freedoms does not mean at all that any of us who choose to exercise those freedoms are in any way automatically “correct” in how we exercise them. It’s the old, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” bromide. Hence we have laws to control our.. “enthusiasms” in how we express our freedoms. Any American has the absolute right to act like a jerk… unless you being a jerk interferes with another person’s freedom to act like one… or not. Yet the freedom to be a jerk is not guaranteed by the Constitution. Just as the freedom to choose is not a Constitutional freedom… yet by the Constitution limiting government, freedom to choose becomes a default, but not without it’s own legal limitations to guard against excess. Freedom of the press does not mean the press has the freedom to be accepted in all cases as altruistic sages representing public morality in expressing truth. We love to point the finger at the press for violating its own moral precepts by being biased in reporting. Why not just accept it? It’s up to each of us to determine how much we should believe in what we see or hear. The “press” is a generic universal medium to expand freedom of speech for full effect. The Constitution says government will not control the press… and that’s all it says. Nothing about presenting only truth, justice, and the American way.
    The press is an assortment of capitalist enterprises existing to make money for its owners… (many times folks like you and me as investors) as all businesses are intending to try and do… make a profit. Of course it’s all about ratings. Why should that condemn their existence as some common enemy of the people? They use the exact same criteria for generating a profit as a company trying to sell you deodorant. Call it.. fear… fear that you will stink and offend others unless you buy the stuff… and that “their” stuff is better than the “other guy’s” stuff.
    What’s your suggestion if we accept all media.. cabled media.. as being a cancer on society… what do we put in its place?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Nothing. As I stated in the post we need to accept that’s the way the media is, not take too much of it in, question what you do and do your own hard work to research issues. The point is the msm is financially and I would say politically motivated to spread fear. We all have the choice to remain stuck in those claustrophobic narratives or move towards others that promote free thinking and empowerment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Doug says:

        “We all have the choice to remain stuck in those claustrophobic narratives or move towards others that promote free thinking and empowerment.”

        Providing one knows.. or perceives, they are signing on to a “claustrophobic narrative”. Providing one is even interested in promoting their own “free thinking” toward some aspect in their life… or whether or not one even wants to think about “empowerment” on a given facet of living. I know where you’re coming from with your post. You’re trying to encourage that old elitist perception of “critical thinking”… with the assumption that you apply it and others who do not agree, do not obviously apply it.. properly.
        For example… FOX has a greater audience than CNN.. for years. Many assume that it’s because far more viewers enjoy FOX reporting and analysis, and thereby public acceptance in the Conservative viewpoint is more dominant. A little critical thinking might draw the more accurate conclusion that FOX represents the only Conservative cable source and thus commands a larger focus of the Conservative audience. CNN shares an (alleged) “Liberal” audience with MSNBC, et al. CNN is not FOX’s only competitor.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tricia says:

          You make a lot of assumptions about me that I never infer. Actually it’s the perfect example of the knee jerk reaction based on source thing Lorie mentions in her video. Thank you for that, it adds real life context to the post!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Doug says:

            When someone feels the need to post about critical aspects of a biased media having alt-agendas, political or otherwise, and people seeming to be falling for it… well, yeah… it IS all about “you think you are right and you are frustrated that others don’t see the light like you do”. I’m not suggesting that to toss stones… heck, in the past three years I’ve posted the same on three different occasions myself… multi-part posts on critical thinking skills. Each time it was my own frustration about others. Doesn’t mean what we posted was wrong… but certainly was biased in its intent. The bottom line, I fully agree with you that there are many Americans who just plain have other things going on in their lives to devote time to actually form their own independent opinions.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool post, Tricia! You’re absolutely right! Thanks for the mention, too. Long ago there was this great discussion about how we tend to perceive ourselves as the technology of the day. We know this primarily from literary references. So at one time in history, people were thought to be like clocks set in motion, and God of course is the Great watch maker. We became steam engines and then factories. I am almost old enough to remember, “the human body is much like a factory, its works like an assembly line.” Fast forward to today and suddenly we are thought to be just like computers, with our brains as the central processing unit. So Bill Gates for example, began programming computers, which soon became, “can we program humans in the same way?” And so social engineering was born. It’s been around probably since Nazi Germany and propaganda machines, but I mean it became refined, perfected, and tied directly to technology. The actual questions being asked were, “we can program technology, so can we program people?” Yes, yes we can, only to varying degrees however, because people still have some freewill, should we ever choose to think critically and finally exercise it.

    A bit funny, people often think I’m trafficking in conspiracy theories. No, this is all well documented, factual information that isn’t even being hidden from us. We must learn to ask ourselves exactly what you’ve laid out, “How is this message making me feel and why am I choosing to believe a program, a system or a paradigm that is making me feel fear?”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Tricia says:

      That is a very interesting topic IB about people perceiving themselves as technology! And so yes it makes complete sense that we could be programmed the same way if we allow ourselves to be. Fascinating, I’m going to have to look in to this more.

      It never fails to amaze me how many people take at face value what the media and politicians tell them is true. Some of it? Sure and at some point we have to put our faith in something but always question things.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Citizen Tom says:

      God “programs” us when He gives us the grace to do the right thing.

      I believe you did a post on the passage that includes this verse here of late.

      James 4:6 New American Standard Bible
      6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. excellent post Tricia–I love it—“all whooey hooey”
    We are in the midst of whooey hooey–and my strength is running out!
    Holding on til November!!!!!
    My birthday is in November—maybe the gift will be what I want and not a case of dementia 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tricia says:

      Whooey hooey wins the day Julie! 😂 Definitely hoping you get your November birthday wish!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was chatting today with an older gentleman while we stood in line 6 feet apart, fully masked, at the pharmacy at Publix.
        He turned to me and told me he is more then ready for all this mess to be over. I noticed his hat and told him I liked it.
        Trump 2020.
        I told him I thought he would win— he told me he certainly thought so— there are many like him, you, me all across this country— NORMAL people are sick of their country being ramrodded—- let’s hold on to the board and ride the wave onto the beach — 😎

        Liked by 3 people

        • Tricia says:

          Ha, I think he’s right about there being a lot of normal people just sick of the nonsense. I didn’t even vote for Trump in 2016 and I certainly have hesitations about him but you can bet I will pull the lever for him in November. Or fill in the circle on my mail in ballot 🙄.

          Surf’s up, cowabunga!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I was a Trump skeptic from his first foray into politics years ago— I thought him a loud mouth ‘ya fired’ rich guy— then he really actually ran and started making sense and on the flip side there was Benghazi Clinton — so there was no looking back— I knew our needed path.
            He was making sense, the economy was rolling and I knew he was for real— and at the same time the Left began to morph into mania and madness — so yes— he is indeed my man— for better or worse.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Citizen Tom says:

      Even with dementia, I don’t think you will vote for Biden.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow! Right on target. Thanks for the great insights.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. atimetoshare.me says:

    Your thoughts are so necessary right now. We have been side tracked too much by a media that is only concerned about ratings. Gone are the days of simply broadcasting the news instead of editorializing. Now the public looks to the most glamorous newscasters – the ones with the latest scoop – or those who express their own opinions rather than the truth. They are all guilty of falling into that trap. Even the conservative networks on running on opinion rather than facts. I try to avoid it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: We are a Cancer and There is No Cure  | The Culture Alternative

  7. Citizen Tom says:

    With respect to this topic, you may find Mel Wild’s post interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Citizen Tom says:

    Excellent post! I suspect I will be referencing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. George Orwell says:

    Why is it that all the stores I visit are afraid to wear bacteria infested infectious disease oxygen depriving slave masks?

    It takes a little time, but using the truth as your narrative eventually wins.

    “Let the truth out as you do not have to defend it, as it will defend itself.”
    St. Augustine

    Liked by 1 person

  10. con says:

    Reblogged this on Citizens.

    Liked by 1 person

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