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Evening news as barometer of reality

Now that the election campaign is going, there are already errant messages floating around to the effect of “better get rid of them”, and of course the Libs are getting that into full swing already. This idea that the last three years have somehow been so terrible and we can’t possibly do it again.

But really, what has been terrible? What diabolical horrors have occurred? Continued economic growth? Historically low and internationally remarkable unemployment figures? Even the carbon tax whingers have noticed just how little pull that one’s had on day to day life.

What’s really happened is an orgy of media negativity. Every day more disaster, right there on your evening news and your newspapers. Think about the issue of boat people: for 99% of this country it is an issue that impacts on your daily life not at all, except in what you see on the evening news. The situation is meaningless to nearly all of us, except in how it impacts on our media consumption.

And that’s pretty much par for the course. Actual bad news comes from the European economies (where conservative austerians have just about pushed the EU into another recession), and that fills our media, combined with either sensationalism, over-reaction or sheer idiocy from home. And this colours people’s reactions to how they see the world (as long as they don’t think too hard).

Naturally, we have an opposition eager to exploit this, as if another degree of negativity was never too far for them. In a period of remarkable economic success (especially when you compare us to the rest of the world), we get nothing but dire pronouncements from the opposition and their media lapdogs. It’s lazy, and it’s absurd, but that’s how it is.

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