I’m on my way back now from a business trip that had to be squeezed into my Spring Break. These days, I really hate to be taken out of my routine by travel (though I also like it–but I never like the prospect of it). You’re not in control on the road: not of your quarters, not of the clock (which jumped two hours on us), not of the weather (the coldest of the winter here), and not even of your sleep. I like to control my life, so this kind of surrender can be… nerve-racking, on the way to being refreshing.
But having to listen to CNN daily in the hotel’s breakfast room was not refreshing in any manner. One of the few unequivocal joys of travel is getting away from the news cycle–an ambition which CNN generously accommodates. The substitution of incessant propaganda, though, isn’t exactly the kind of escape I’d foreseen. A lot of rather important things are happening in the world right now. Erdogan continues to jail dissident journalists and to ramp up his campaign for becoming “legal” dictator in April. Terrorism has grown so deadly in Myanmar that refugees (real refugees) are pouring into China–which is not only jailing its own dissidents but executing more of them each year than those put to death by judicial order in all the rest of the world combined. As for North Korea’s lunatic saber-rattling…
Well, let’s just say that none of this seems to show up on the CNN radar. The first days of the week were consumed with the “news” that Donald Trump couldn’t prove his wiretapping allegations. The next couple of days were devoted to the hot scoop that millions would lack health insurance by mid-century once the Republicans repeal Obamacare. That’s assuming, I suppose, that Kim Jong Un doesn’t draw us all into the incinerator. The CNN crystal ball apparently sees no threat from that quarter. Nope–what we need to start worrying about today is the volume of uninsured thirty-something years down the road.
But I thought we were all supposed to be robotic hybrids by then?
Honestly, I don’t know why some savvy media mogul doesn’t conceive the brlliant idea of covering significant events around the world for a hour or so per day.