Yesterday, a tragic event happened in Boston." Did you hear? Have you seen the news?" Yep. Very sad. Besides the usual niceties one utters so as not to seem like a complete sociopath, I remained unmoved.
Frankly, I'm surprised worse incidents don't occur on a regular basis in the good 'ol US of A, what with their rather large contingent of right-wing, gun-slinging religious zealots, impotent government and global animosity towards them following years of questionable foreign policy decisions.
Of course, I would never wish for any harm to come to anyone but am I supposed to care more because yesterday's victims were mostly white North Americans? This kind of thing happens every day in the Middle East. And what about Africa? Paris Hilton has received more air time than the Rwandan genocide.
So no, I will not ask "how high" when the media arm of the corporate oligarchy tells me to jump. CNN's endless coverage of such events can really be boiled down to emotional manipulation, whipping us into a frenzy of fear, despair and rage.
One of my colleagues described the BBC's coverage of the event: "Here's what we know right now." A few minutes later.... "and in other news". Sane, balanced media coverage. Is that too much to ask?
Our very own CBC has morphed into CNN North. All I could hear last night was conjecture: "Well, it could be terrorism. We don't know. It could be a domestic attack. We don't know. It could be, it could be, we don't know, we don't know. Well, if you don't know, then give us the facts you do know and shut the hell up. Stop exploiting these events and turning them into a voyeur's festival of horrors. It's insulting to us, your viewers, and demeaning to the victims of the crime.