When the frightening and dreadful news of the Sandy Hook slayings broke on Friday, I knew alas what was to come. I knew that it would be useless to watch cable news this weekend, or it seems for the foreseeable future. All the news channels would descend on this stricken community like wolves picking at the open wounds and walking the streets in an orgy of "news". This has become sadly standard when tragedies of this type strike as they inevitably will.
Clearly the ratings must spike as people quite justifiably seek the latest update on the story. But not content to merely offer intermittent updates, the modern news media descend like a dark cloud and all else of note in the world is obscured while non-stop coverage commences. Anchors arrive to bleat and bellow and tell us all how to feel, news teams prowl the streets searching for angles and digging up motes of detail which they hope will stay fresh long enough to air, and distant commentators seek to draw divergent meaning from events which still unfold before their myopic eyes. It's pretty ugly stuff, but we watch this vulgar dance each and every time.
I refuse to participate. I want the news. I can get that in a few minutes at the top of the hour a few times a day at most. The rest is just salacious and predatory claptrap dressed up as journalism. The news media feast on these events seeking a jot of ratings increase, they harvest dollars on the graves which have yet to be filled. The modern news media are ghouls, eaters of the dead. They won't make me one too.