News Cycle.

Sometimes I think technology is destroying America. The capability of “instant news” combined with the 24-hour news channels is contributing the ever shortening attention spans of the American public.

Oh look at the bird in the backyard. Isn’t he pretty. Uh, what was I saying? Oh yes, short attention spans.

We have a television at the office that shows CNN. Since our Network Operations Center’s workload depends on weather activity and other natural or human made causes, it helps to know what’s going on in the country.

In the past three days, every time I’ve looked at the screen they are showing that guy from Taiwan that claims to have murdered JonBenet Ramsey. No matter what time I look at the screen, there he is, sitting on an airplane, staring straight ahead. He’s there, either waiting for takeoff or to disembark. For three days. There he is. On the plane. Talk about flight delays.

Now the murder of this young girl is horrible. I’m not denying that. I’m sure any clues or confessions would be a relief to the family. But my goodness, the rising death toll in the Middle East is abundently news worthy as well, but that’s hardly being mentioned. It’s old news.

Now we have the latest tropical storm hurricane tropical storm headed for south Florida. What’s it’s name? Ernesto? All the news outlets are headed down there faster than vultures on a dead carcass. I wouldn’t be the least surprised to find them doing some sort of wild hurricane rain dance in an effort to whip up the winds. You could just see the disappointment on their faces when Ernesto became a tropical storm again. It looks like Florida might just escape the floods and famine they were hoping to feature on the news. It might not make it to New Orleans. How ratings building it would be to see the beginnings of the new New Orleans crushed by a hurricane again.

Again, no mention of the deaths in Iraq over the weekend.

Then there’s the airplane crash in Kentucky. It appears the pilot was on the wrong runway. My heart goes out to the families of the crash victims. And then the news cuts to another plane crash in Indiana. “Maybe it’s just as bad or worse!” Turns out a four seater crashed in a pond, sorry, no death there, a bystander pulled them out of harm’s way.

I saw a plane crash once. A student pilot flipped a Cessna 150 into the gravel bed adjacent to the rural airstrip. I saw my Mom and a bunch of pilots and aviation fans pull him out of the plane and get him on his way for medical attention. My mom had tell his mother that her baby boy had just crashed an airplane and was on his way to the hospital. I don’t believe he ever flew again. But it was 1978.

It didn’t make the news.