Researchers think they may have found Amelia Earhart’s plane, on the bottom of the ocean but not far away from an island, and that will be very interesting news if it proves true, but not for long. Beyond saying “We’ve found Amelia Earhart’s plane, and she died in 1937. She did not survive and live for decades on a desert island, and she was not a prisoner of the Japanese, and she was not abducted by aliens,” there’s not much else to add.
But, you can guarantee that somebody, somewhere, will say “This news is timed to distract from (whatever the larger scandal du jour is that day). Today, someone was saying that the the Northam scandal (Republican Governor of Virginia, and photos from his High School Yearbook have surfaced, with him posing in blackface) is timed to distract and take attention away from Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign launch.
It’s become a popular thing to say lately, and, of course, sometimes it might be true. It’s a hard to believe it was a coincidence that the attacks of September 11th, 2001, came one day after Donald Rumsfeld said the Pentagon had just sort of misplaced one trillion dollars. But to believe it was a deliberated distraction would mean that Rumsfeld knew about it in adva… oh, wait, that fits.
Still, I think in the vast majority of cases it’s just that there are so many things happening, all around the world, all the time, that of course each event is going to distract a bit from all the others. Yesterday, lots of people were watching the Super Bowl. Others were more interested in the fact that the U.S. has moved troops to Colombia, near the border with Venezuela.
People are often nostalgic about the old days (which are, by definition, the only days one can be nostalgic about) when we only had 3 TV channels and everybody got the same version of the news. Well, thank goodness that’s over. It made it much easier for the state to control the narrative.
Now, we have lots of sources, and many more stories are making it into the mix, because everybody’s reporting on the things they are interested in, and lots of people have cameras, and there are lots of cameras that are just constantly turned on, dash cams, body cams, security cameras, and so on. We need filters, for sure, or we’ll all go nuts, but the glut of information is basically a good thing. It is confusing, it is loud, and it is the sound of freedom.