Have you been in a dark mood, feeling sad, listless and depressed about such things as oil spills, the war in Afghanistan or the economy? If so, I have the perfect prescription for you — watch CNN.
It turns out that the causes of depression are many and varied and include independent thought as well as accessing information from outside the mainstream. Fortunately I have found that watching network news, especially news from CNN, one to two hours a day can do wonders to clear up depression.
You see CNN is like a soothing ointment for a troubled soul. It’s the network that provides promises of a better tomorrow while proclaiming that things could be far worse. Once you see video from places like Haiti and Pakistan you understand that it is those countries that have something to be depressed about.
How CNN Helped Cure My Depression
But CNN does more than just show how bad things are elsewhere. It also tells us how much better things are becoming here.
Take the oil spill for example. Earlier this summer I was depressed over the fact that BP had leaked some 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There were a lot of dire predictions for the environment and for the economy in the region. But just a few weeks ago White House energy adviser Carol Browner went on CNN to say that a new assessment found that about 75 percent of the oil has been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf. Voila; problem solved. Thanks CNN!
And that’s not all. This month CNN broadcast a photograph of a smiling President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha taking a dip in the Gulf waters off Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Fla. CNN admits it wasn’t present for the swim, but says the photo conveys the message that the White House wants to send: The Gulf Coast is repaired and open for business.
I had to force from my mind the image of the movie Jaws when Mayor Larry Vaughn orders his assistant into the water to impress upon the town folks just how safe things are. Fortunately I was able to eradicate these negative thoughts.
Mission Accomplished… Again!
Watching CNN can make you feel better about a great many things. For example the war in Iraq has caused me a lot of anxiety over the past eight years. When I was writing Outstanding Investments I got in a lot of hot water with my readers and one of my editors for opposing that war and calling it unwinnable. It turns out that I was wrong: Twice in fact.
The first time was in May 2003 when CNN and the other networks carried President George W. Bush’s victory speech from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Above the President was a giant banner titled, “Mission Accomplished.”
The second time was just this month when Obama gave a television address declaring victory in Iraq and announced that troops there will begin to withdraw next year. According to CNN, “The military is continuing its drawdown ahead of Obama’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending all combat operations and keeping a residual force of 50,000 with a mission limited to stability operations and advising and assisting Iraqi security forces.” (Emphasis added)
And the “world’s leader in news” had more good news, reporting that Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh had said while the Iraqi Army might not be fully ready to handle security by the end of 2011, that does not mean the alternative means keeping U.S. troops longer. Neither al-Dabbagh nor CNN said what that alternative is so I can only conclude that my parents were wrong; you can have your cake and eat it too.
Blue Skies Ahead
With my fears about the Gulf Coast and Iraq having been eased I have only a few other concerns, such as the direction of the economy and global warming.
But here again CNN helped. They were on hand last week when Obama touted his administration’s clean energy initiatives, saying tax credits and loans would help create 800,000 jobs by 2012.
CNN showed the President after he toured the ZBB Energy Corporation plant in Menomonee Falls, Wis. It was CNN carrying Obama’s speech telling workers that their jobs manufacturing renewable batteries and power systems were part of a necessary transition of the U.S. economy.
“We can’t turn back. We’ve got to keep going forward,” Obama said to resounding applause caught on CNN microphones. Then we got to hear more from the President: “You’re pointing us in the right direction. And I am confident about our future because of what I have seen at this plant.”
The company is using a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to help fund a $4.5 million factory renovation. Obama said the renovation is expected to result in the hiring of 80 new workers and triple the capacity of the manufacturer’s renewable power and storage systems.
CNN delivered Obama’s message that the American workers are resilient enough to emerge stronger than ever from a decade-long manufacturing decline and an economic recession. Not only that, we are going to get a cleaner, greener world to boot.
Now I know CNN may be hard medicine for some of you to swallow. Furthermore I don’t want you to just take my word that CNN will not only make you feel better. The Aug. 10 editorial page of The Boston Globe told CNN’s critics to “back off” and called the network, “the best hope for a revival of traditional news values on cable.”
The Globe also said that Fox News and MSNBC can’t be trusted because of their partisan leanings:
“CNN’s rivals, Fox and MSNBC, have chosen to preach to the converted, fueling a culture of outrage and denunciation. Their effects on American political dialogue have been widely noted, and widely condemned.”
The Globe even gave the thumbs-up to Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, who are replacing Campbell Brown’s evening news program, pointing out that the two would make a very good pair: “Another Crossfire this won’t be: Spitzer and Parker will probably be unpredictable and sometimes contrarian.”
One can only hope that on this last point The Globe is wrong. For if CNN becomes unpredictable and heaven forbid, contrarian, it will no longer assuage my fears and worries. Things are so bad I would hate to start having to deal with the truth.
Before I sign off I need to leave you with a warning. If you do decide to begin a daily regimen of CNN you will have to closely monitor your level of viewing. For example, people who watch more than an hour a day of Anderson Cooper 360 can experience sudden mood changes, the most common of which is feelings of self-righteousness.
And never exceed more than three hours viewing in a 24-hour time period as this can lead to psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, in which the logic center in your brain tells you that things are a mess but the cerebral cortex insists that things are not only fine but getting better all the time.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report