Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Searching for News

It frightens me to think how little I would know about what's happening in the world if I didn't catch snippets of Hugh Hewitt's radio show on the short drive home from work.

This evening, I switched on the car radio to hear Hugh talking about an article from Jane's Defence, a global military news periodical. Having worked in the defense (we use an "s" in this country) industry for many years, I'm familiar with Jane's and the name captured my attention.

I was not prepared to hear what followed: A story about an explosion involving a missile, sarin nerve gas, dead engineers and military, Iran, and Syria. As Bugs Bunny would've said, "Yipes!"

When I got home, I "googled" the item, just to check other coverage. The Jerusalem Post carried the story, as did this link. No fan of television newscasts, tonight I watched the evening network news out of curiousity. Would the incident even be mentioned?

Am I delusional? I often feel that MSM is living in an alternate universe, with no connection to what is happening in the real world. Tonight was one of those times.

Let's see. We started off with a happy report about the stock market soaring over a predicted change in interest rates. So far, so good. Next, a minute or two on the Blackwater contractors and civilian casualties in the Iraq war. The narration moved quickly to the latest on a psychopathic murderer who is now up on assorted felony charges. Deemed worthy of several precious minutes of coverage, included in this nothing story was a detailed photo of the killer's jail cell. No doubt that's highly valuable information for all viewers.

Coverage moved on again, this time to the traffic jams that plague our national highways, then to the obligatory daily coverage of our shrinking polar cap. The half hour finished with a fluff piece about the shortage of champagne due to demand from new markets like Beijing.

Not a peep about Iran, or Syria. Or sarin nerve gas. Or explosions, missiles, death tolls. Nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving.

I'll keep moving, all right. Away from the television set. TV's not a safe place to get one's news these dangerous days. In fact, I'm thinking about getting a subscription to The Jerusalem Post.