17 August 2006
The Media of Terror
Never has a generation been less likely to die a violent death and never has the media put so much time, attention, and energy into frightening the population into believing it will die such a death. Sadly, just as advertisers have learned that sex sells products, the media has learned that terror raises ratings and sells newspapers. Fear is primal and, like sex, works at a level below rational thought. And that is probably the worst thing about the new media of terror: it short circuits rational thought, eroding public discourse and good policy. Just as a person whose psychological condition disconnects him or her from reality has trouble coping, much less thriving, so does a society whose media disconnects it from reality.