The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

January 29, 2013

TV 'news' offers modern-day bread, circus

The Daily Star

---- — Terrorists in Algeria kidnap a group of citizens from several countries. President Obama tries to get a sensible gun bill passed against NRA-backed congressional resistance. Again, we are nearing the so-called fiscal cliff. All important news, right?

However, what is discussed at length on TV “news” program after “news” program? Lance Armstrong’s long-overdue admission to using drugs, and a hoax involving a football player and his imaginary girlfriend.

In a century or so before the powerful Roman Empire collapsed, most Roman citizens were more interested in “bread and circuses.” 

Could the current concern of much of the public with trivialized “news” be a 21st-century version of “bread and circuses” — an unwillingness to face the unpleasant facts of the world today?

William F. Roberts