Wednesday, November 10, 2010

With Media Like This, Who Needs Terrorists?

Just when you thought it was safe to jump on your dog sled, terrorists have struck. And I don't mean Osama Bin Laden has traded in his military surplus camouflage jacket for a parka. I am referring to the sensationalistic media exaggerating to create headlines that purposely prey on our fear and insecurity.

With only the information that vessels with links to human smuggling, drug trafficking and organized crime have attempted to access the Arctic, our national news agency reported our desolate north faces "real terror threats." Though the CBC story is not entirely false, it only clings to truth by its use of vague and almost meaningless words, the same meaningless words that were purposely chosen to foster fear and garner attention.

Real terror threats is difficult to define, does it mean Al-Qaeda has an impending plan to strap nuclear bombs to polar bears? Or does it mean merely that there are terrorists in this world and some might at sometime try different avenues, including using the Arctic, to attack us? Clearly the article is suggesting the latter but instead of rationally presenting that more reasonable argument it perpetuates the frightened mentality of most, further justifying unnecessary security measures based on the ill-conceived fear.

If one was to understand the CBC story's use of the term real terror threats as what one immediately thinks of when they hear it, it's clear the Canadian Broadcasting Company used the term just to get attention through fear. A commonsense interpretation of real terror threats implies a sure pending danger, however this article supplies no evidence of any such thing, and certainly absolutely none involving terrorists.

Instead of offering reasonable discourse the media is offering a cacophonous and disoriented appeal to our sense of fear, all in a bid to get our attention to their cause, to their story. And though the word terrorist is hard to define , let alone to agree upon, a broad interpretation of terrorists as those who frighten others for their own ends would nonetheless apply to, at least to a degree, to reporters who sensationalize a story around fear just to get our attention.

With media like this, who needs terrorists?

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