We get results of surveys telling us what we are worried about now and what we should worry about next. For example, earlier this year they told us that the “strife between rich and poor people is now seen as a bigger issue than other social conflicts, including conflict between immigrants and native-born Americans and tension between black and white Americans” not because of some major shift in attitudes, but because we kept hearing about it, specifically news coverage of the Occupy movement. As that has run its course, our biggest concern moves on to something new.
Networks choose their stories, redo their sets and shuffle or fire their presenters based on appearance and popularity. Can’t we understand how superficial this is? Can’t we recognize how the lack of depth in the news reflects our reactions based on our lack of perspective, allowing the superficial to crowd out the substantive? Everyone in the media caters to our wishes as shown by how we spend our time and our money. We get exactly what we ask for, and what we are getting today tells us more about ourselves than about what's going on in the world.