I used to be a news junkie. I loved the morning paper and saved the funnies and crossword as a morning dessert after a satisfying meal of all the other newspaper sections. I also listened to early morning, dinner hour and bedtime newscasts. When newspapers went from weekly collections to pre-paid subscriptions, I didn't realize it was the beginning of the end of my addiction, but I think the timing coincided even if the change in payment wasn't the cause.
Prepaid subscriptions and safety issues of children as paper carriers led the way to adult delivery personnel with much larger routes and a need to deliver as quickly as possible. Repeated paper tosses from an idling car in the street (breaking three of four solar landscaping lights near my front door) and a deaf ear at the circulation desk when papers weren't delivered at all caused me to quit the paper.
Reading online isn't the same but I've adjusted. I have to go to three sources to read all of the comics I enjoy and while I don't do a daily crossword, my day doesn't officially begin until after I've done an online Sudoku puzzle.
Lately I have made another adjustment. I only listen to the local news somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00 in the morning. Later newscasts tend to hammer away at a subject at a headache producing rate, or use a favorite ploy to keep viewers glued to their broadcast: scare the viewers!
In my part of Michigan, there isn't anyone unaffected by the automotive world's financial problems. I don't need the doom and gloom reports at noon, the dinner hour and at bedtime. The past 24 hours it isn't even the news that is getting to me, it is the weather forecasts. A winter storm is expected to begin at midnight and dump 6-10 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. As the first flakes fall, at least three reporters per news station will be reporting live from intersections telling us! how! bad! driving! might! become! Use of explanation points here is mandatory to express their concern for the viewer. Or possibly their joy! at having more airtime!!
I realized I was again becoming a media hype victim this morning when I was ready to cancel plans for tomorrow night based on weather that hasn't happened yet. It is winter in Michigan. If we have to cancel tomorrow's plan due to weather, we can do that tomorrow.
Stay tuned readers! Come back on Saturday for a full report! Will Mother Nature spare Michigan her flaky fury? Will Brad and Angelina adopt a child from an icy intersection in Detroit? All this and more, live, here on Saturday!
Barbara Walters, 1965, possibly with a hand frozen from applying hair spray during a winter month in a northern state.