Bad News Burnout
Every day for months, the top news item on the yahoo homepage has been a story about deaths in Iraq. 15 one day, 34 the next, 122 the next. When you start to add them up, it's a horrific number. But when they dribble in day after day after day, it's easy to say, "Oh yeah, a few more died in Iraq... business as usual." Or, "Gee, it was only 12 today, not so bad."
Only, imagine if it had been twelve men, women, and children who died in a ten car pile up in the latest snowstorm. The reaction would be quite different, I imagine.
The question is how to prevent desensitization, when every day there are reports of bombings and killings? If kids who watch a lot of violence on tv begin to think it's ok and normal, so too we are in danger of thinking the ongoing slaughter in Iraq is normal and ok.
No wonder the media is resorting more and more to sensationalized news. When every day brings a plateful of murder and mayhem, even murder and mayhem become commonplace.
I believe it is important not to let ourselves become complacent about the steady bloodletting in Iraq. (Or other areas of the world such as Darfur) Otherwise, it's far to easy for us to dismiss it as the way things are, and to absolve ourselves from doing whatever it is we can to improve the situation, whether that is going to a demonstration or writing letters to our senators.