I've commented before on how the news is mostly distant and without context. One Dead, Three Hurt in California Shooting. Shooting in N.S. town leads police on high-speed chase of suspect. Blah, blah, blah. When something hits closer to home, it will knock me on my ass, but I am unable to mourn the deaths of strangers when all I see is a 15 second video clip.
That said, I can remember a few isolated cases where the TV news really shook me. Vegging on the couch one afternoon, flicking randomly through the channels, an odd pattern formed. Every station started to show the same video feed. For the next half hour I watched, live, as armed FBI agents ushered students from a school in which two gunmen were still stalking. I couldn't tune it out. It was sickening. I had to turn it off. The strange feeling I had that day, that I was seen something I shouldn't, has stayed with me.
More recently, four junior-high-school kids were killed in a bus accident in New Brunswick. I sympathized with the survivors. Even now, I am uncomfortable thinking of the horror these kids must be going through.
There's nothing unusual about being upset my school shootings and tragic accidents, but these two cases are some of the only ones I can ever remember having any impact on me at all. Most news to me is noise. A fire kills a family in Boston, a plane crash kills a celebrity. I could care less. I've got plenty to worry about with the people I actually know.
My point? Not sure. Just wondering aloud about selective news sympathy. Why is it that I can watch most news without blinking, however horrifying, while a select few stories keep me up at night?