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If It Bleeds, It Leads

Ugly! Following news of the carnage in Ukraine, I likely feel as my parents did in the late 1930's with Europe turned upside down and thousands dying. Later came the question, “Why did the 'free' countries let the carnage continue?” Why were bullies tolerated? Why now?

I discovered short wave radio when I was almost twelve. Our family radio could receive some short wave stations broadcasting in Spanish.

They were having a great time. The music loud, blaring trumpets, women yelling, accordion players squeezing out something in parallel fifths sounding like Chinese music.

My dad said it was Cuba since the radio had no outside antenna and they mentioned “Habana.” He picked that up.

After delivering enough copies of The Waycross Journal-Herald to buy and assemble a Heathkit receiver, the world opened up onto a broader stage.

I strung a long wire antenna and could explore the world from my room.

The early radio newscasters started in the print media — newspapers and news wire. They were literate, knew something about geography and kept their opinions to themselves.

In that time I became fascinated by the “World Service” of the BBC, which reached North America with the chimes of Big Ben at midnight.

Radio Moscow reached my receiver from Moscow using powerful transmitters and steerable antennas. Their “news” was laughable and unfriendly towards America.

It should be embarrassing to the American media that some of their readers cannot correctly pronounce common words, nor deliver a story without an eyeroll oranaddi- tionaladverbhere and there.

The networksfreelytake sides byrunningwithstories that should not make the list and ignoring stories that should. I'm back to the BBC World News (televisions) when I want to know what is going on without being told what to think about it. Their stories run deeper, anchoredbysomeonespeaking softly in a literate, flat delivery.

The hair on fire, manic presentations of American news is about creating stress so viewers will stay through the commercial breaks.

If the news is bad, it goes to the top. If it bleeds it leads.

The news as we get it also leads one to a calmer, more adult source.

I'm there.

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