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Opinion: Dear news, You’re fired

By Gerald Ford

Who turned international news into a reality TV show?

Really, I’m over it. I am aware that the US president himself is a former reality TV star and presenter with The Apprentice, but that is no excuse.

There was an election. All the experts and commentators started in on the outrage and the joke candidate, who one comedian dared to stand, was almost universally written off as a potential nomination for his party.

You’ll notice I haven’t used the man’s name.

That is because it seems to be a trigger for people to go mad.

Who decided that a single personality was worth destroying all sense of perspective over?

When did it become okay to have headlines dripping with disdain so that a single five-letter surname came to stand alone as a symbol of everything that is wrong with the world?

Where was I? Oh yes, an election.

There was one of them, and the one the news media loved to hate won.

We all know that no-one rational could possibly have voted for him, don’t we?

So we have to explain this, don’t we?

It must have been the Russians, tricking everybody.

Pause for breath.

The real problem is that this nonsense is now almost all that can be found on international news, searching all the usual New Zealand channels anyway.

Rather than conflicts between nations (Ukraine, Uganda, Sudan, Europe, Syria, refugees, remember them?) all that can be found is a few individual stories of crime, amusement parks and lemonade stands.

It’s like there are only two news channels left, the Trump (there it is) and the weird.

As major news outlets chase ratings and play what plays, regardless of actual facts, we are left with no choice but to take sides politically on issues that should never have been important enough to divide us.

The news is now a game show and the audience is left in no doubt who the villain is, as the producers stick to the tried and true story of a cartoon villain (kind of like the Joker, but without the make-up).

Who’s the good guy in this scenario? And given that the election has been held, what is the point of playing goodies and baddies any more anyway?

When is enough enough?

Where’s Batman when we need him?

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