[Note: This is a test of your attention span. If you can't read all of this you may be infected by media-induced ADD. Seek professional help.]
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
- Eliot, Burnt Norton
The Short Attention Spans of Media Professionals Mean a Hyperactive Headline Glut for You
Recently I became acquainted with a young boy, just turned nine. He’s a brilliant and happy kid, but he has a problem with cleaning up and organizing his room. It isn’t that he can’t do it, he simply has to be told about every five minutes to continue the process. In the course of picking things up to put away he discovers anew their potential to fascinate him.
The Gameboy? “Oh, here’s where I saved that last stage of Turoc. Let’s see if I can get the flame-thrower and…”
Any one of the 3,000 + Lego units? “Gee, I never did get the moon base hemi-dome set up, just let me put these 400 blocks in place and…” Books? “Sure thing and, hey, did Horton ever hatch that egg…”
On it goes until, after the sixth or seventh cajoling instruction, a path has been cleared for the vacuum cleaner. After which, he promptly begins taking everything he has put away out and strews it about the floor once again.
Today’s pop psychologists, addlepated educators and the marketing departments of large drug companies are hard at work trying to convince me children who behave like this have “Attention Deficit Disorder” or ADD. But I know enough to know it is the companies who are obsessed, confused and greedy in about that order.
What this young boy suffers from is no more than being a normal, heedless and all around great nine-year-old boy. He doesn’t have ADD anymore than I have an elephant chained in my back yard. (Yes, I just checked.)
The only group that I can see in the United States that, as a group, is seriously afflicted with ADD is a group of would-be adults — the group we call collectively “The Mainstream Media.” For members of this group ADD is not an option, it is a requirement. Far from being a means to informing and enlightening the public, the primary role of the MSM is to distract it. At this they are very good since they are “Distracted from distraction by distraction” by their very nature. They are “the ADD professionals.” They actually get paid for doing this. Paid well for having a disease.
No section of our society exemplifies ADD more than the denizens of Big Media whose efforts in spreading fear, uncertainty, doubt and confusion go forward daily with no signs of stopping and fewer signs of shame. Indeed, it is the media, more than any other group, that is happy to spread the myth of ADD / HD (Attention Deficit Disorder / Hyperactivity Disorder) affliction among the young. They are happy to do it because, in a very real way, it protects them from being seen as the single profession in which ADD / HD not only runs riot, but also spreads a virus that threatens the lives and happiness of millions. For many centuries it has been unfashionable in the West to kill the messenger. This convention, along with so many others in the post 9/11 world, may have to be reconsidered.
The recent collective media hallucinations known as “All is Lost in Iraq Because We Won,” underscore the fact that ADD/HD has infected and taken over the media.
It is not true that all the people working in the media are biased towards wanting the United States to fail all the time and everywhere (although there are more than a few who do). No, the terrible truth is that nearly 100 percent of media professionals are infected to the marrow of their bones with ADD / HD. And not just the “stars” but the whole pack of them, root and branch, right down to Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter, fresh from the laughable “Journalism Schools”.
The Disease and the Afflicted
Before getting down to cases, let’s look at the symptoms (with examples) of ADD / HD as listed at Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or “CHADD” (for those who just can’t pay attention to long clumsy names struggling to become clumsy dangling acronyms.)
AD/HD predominately inattentive type: (AD/HD-I)
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes: Reuters
- Has difficulty sustaining attention: National Public Radio.
- Does not appear to listen: Ann Coulter
- Struggles to follow through on instructions: Jon Stewart
- Has difficulty with organization: Dan Rather
- Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort: Larry King
- Loses things: The BBC
- Is easily distracted: Foreign Press Corp in War Zone once checked into comfy hotels.
- Is forgetful in daily activities: Fact-checkers across the media spectrum
AD/HD predominately hyperactive-impulsive type: (AD/HD-HI)
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair: Chris Matthews
- Has difficulty remaining seated: Geraldo
- Runs about or climbs excessively: Robert Scheer
- Difficulty engaging in activities quietly: Fox News
- Acts as if driven by a motor: The New York Times
- Talks excessively: Charlie Rose
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed: Bill O’Reilly
- Difficulty waiting or taking turns: Bill O’Reilly
- Interrupts or intrudes upon others: Bill O’Reilly in a trifecta.
AD/HD combined type: (AD/HD-C)
- Individual meets both sets of inattention and hyperactive/impulsive criteria:
ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, LAT, WAPO, TIME NEWSWEEK, etc. and so forth ad nauseam.
As Above, So Below
The examples above are only well-known personalities and other growths of the American Media Entity (AME). What is true for the stars above is also true for all those members of AME that labor in the mud below. They have all been infected with ADD/HD and very few are seeking to get well. What they are seeking is to become even more infected so that someday they might get some air-time or ink. Ambition in the media is so vicious because the stakes are so vacuous.
Read the rest at American Digest: http://americandigest.org/