How “The News” Became Bad News and Now It’s Just Old News

nightly news meme
Brian Hogan

We as a species have been infatuated with ‘the news’ since ancient times. Once upon a time referred to as tidings, often simply called gossip, and in the last hundred years or so referred to as ‘current events’, the news has always really just been short-hand for ‘the newest stuff’; and across the globe humanity just can’t seem to get enough. The word ‘news’ has been part of our collective vernacular for millennia but only in the last 50 years or so has it become so ubiquitous, and so deeply perverted as to have the power to hijack the direction of a culture or shape the beliefs of entire populations. Simply the plural form of the word ‘new’, this deeply-engrained but basically glorified slang word has had perhaps the single largest impact on our culture, of anything, ever. 

News flash: only five giant corporations control approximately 90% of the media the world sees; among them are Disney, Viacom and Time Warner. This fact alone should shatter the illusion that our news is reliable, unbiased and for our own good. This undisputed, and of course under-reported media monopoly reveals an obvious and sinister design to promote disinformation while the bankers and the corporations and whoever it is at the top of the top plunder the earth. Yet still, because our current information system is a subtle yet nefarious form of mind control, most fail to notice that the very source we go to for reliable information is the one brainwashing us the most.  

The news has further impacted the globe because it has become a normalized, and centralized form of nationally, and in some cases internationally, endorsed gossip. When a student whispers to another about the hideous outfit a fellow classmate wore to school we all know it is gossip, because it is plain to see. But when a talking head in a suit on TV, with the weight of a media outlet behind them talks about the hideous outfit worn by the latest set of legs on the red carpet we call it ‘celebrity news’. The bare fact that it is gossip is obscured, but only slightly. But it is a slippery slope. When a respected and credentialed 60 Minutes anchor talks about his or her opinion on the thought process or agenda of a presidential candidate it is still just gossip, dressed in prestige and hiding behind a college degree. We’ve been taught to think of the news as an impartial set of facts, presented to a devout public by an educated and impartial set of reporters—a free press, as we are taught in elementary school. But if you look closely you’ll see the news programs actually spend the majority of their broadcast minutes presenting opinions, and an agenda, not actual facts or practical information. The question nobody seems to be asking is “who’s agenda is it?”  

Another consequence of our current information paradigm, primarily based around either the nightly news or social media is that another new artificial binary has been created to divide us, blind us, and control us.  Whether you personally believe this has occurred by accident or by design is irrelevant, the fact remains that our current information system is bought and paid for, leaving actual and accurate information still very hard to find. Depending on what kind of news you watch or read and how you stay informed will determine your cultural status in today’s polarized climate. If you watch so-called reliable news outlets like CNN you get to wear a certain cultural status badge and can then glare at others asking “well how do you expect to stay informed then?”  Or if you’re one of the sheep in the other herd, you’d be watching FOX, but the sentiment remains the same: I educate myself by watching news, so if you don’t do this you are uneducated

The binary goes even further and divides us even more with the rise of social media. While these new connective networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and others are filled with bogus hoaxes and fake news stories they are also a massive equalizing tool, allowing anyone to become a publisher; thus widening the field of public debate and the spread of innovative thought. This new tool that can help to connect, inspire and awaken a brainwashed public is a threat to the Big Five and to our status quo. So another stigma has been created: If you get your news from Social Media and the Internet you’re an idiot. While that might be true if all you do is watch talking cat videos, or never look outside of your Facebook Newsfeed, it’s certainly not true in the case of the pipeline controversy at Standing Rock, a watershed event in American current events, and yet one over which there is a total mainstream media blackout. You can pretty much only find out anything at all about the pipe line controversy and many other phenomena such as solar roofing innovations and medical marijuana breakthroughs on social media. The mainstream media has been paid to keep their trap shut. 

News is called such because it was about reporting on the newest stuff. Instead of always saying ‘have you seen the newest stuff?’ we just shortened it to “have you seen the news?” Humanity is ultimately a lazy species so this makes sense. However the news does not even do a remotely decent job of giving us an accurate cross section of all the newest stuff. Science, technology, philanthropy, love, all excluded from the mainstream media vernacular. So I’m not calling it by that name anymore. It’s not “the news”, it’s “the bads.” The new credo seems to be only to inform us of awful and terrible things. Some are new, but all are bad. So I don’t watch it. An unbalanced intake will cause an unbalanced mind. I’m not uninformed because I don’t watch the news; I’m simply less brainwashed. You can find 100 new things a day and never dwell on or make a story out of the toxic things, but you wouldn’t know that from watching the news. 

Make your own news by doing something entirely new: notice how much blessing and abundance really is around you, despite the doom bell ringing every night at 7/6 central from all the horrified talking heads glowering at us nightly. Turn it off; tune it out. Forget the bads; make your own news. This just in: there is and has always been more well being and peace in the world than any form of strife or suffering. Nature is a robust, stable and cooperative system; it’s only humanity having trouble falling in line. I laugh when I hear people saying we have to save the planet because Earth is going to be here long after we are, millennia longer! We need to save ourselves, and then God forbid, help to save each other. The planet is going to be just fine.  And now, back to you. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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