Cable news is frequently a shout-fest that brings more heat than light—more passion than illumination (I have sometimes contributed to this state of affairs.) We spend considerable time talking about caravans full of illegals headed to our border, school shootings, family separations, and how (depending on which network you’re watching) you’re either an evil racist who hates immigrant children or a dupe who is fine with terrorists and drug dealers raping our wives and daughters.
For 99 percent of us, the media frenzy causes a low-grade depression. For a small segment of Americans, though, I suspect it is driving them crazy. Crazy enough to do something horrific—like shoot a Republican congressman on a baseball diamond or try to send a bomb to a former Democratic president (or two).
The problem isn’t that we cover bad or depressing things happening in the world. These important topics deserve news coverage. But the truth is, we don’t just report them―we hype them (coupled with “BREAKING NEWS!!!” alerts, graphics, countdown clocks, music, and the most provocative B-roll footage we can find). Then, we bring on people to fight about the provocative topics. It’s a never-ending cycle.