Too Much Talk

Image credit: patriciarossi.com
Image credit: patriciarossi.com

My father was a lover of all things American. He was particularly fond of President John F. Kennedy – so much so, that a picture of him used to grace our living room wall. One year we even celebrated Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings. (Foreign import, I know). But despite his admiration for the country, he also held the opinion that sometimes Americans talked too much.

He would usually say this, after watching or listening to a news programme that played host to knowledgeable speakers who had been asked to give their opinions on certain subjects. I don’t think his issue had to do with being enlightened about the topic – he just couldn’t ever grasp why they seemed intent on giving away secrets and telling the bad guys what to do.

This was before the era of 24 hour news channels, so I don’t know how he would even manage to watch today when networks have to find something to talk about, every living minute of every living day. Because today, he would have to hear the same story at least once every two hours and if nothing happened in the interim, well then experts would be brought in to speculate about what could possibly happen.

When we were younger and our parents would say to us “You chat too much!”, it usually meant that we had revealed something that wasn’t meant for others to hear.

I’ve always suspected that those of us outside of government really have no clue about how close to the edge we sometimes are. Suspense novelists like Robert Ludlum and John LeCarre do a good job of feeding the conspiracy theorists among us and you have to wonder how far they are from the truth, but sometimes it does feel as if some news outlets are intent on giving certain people ideas.

Last week, while walking by a television that was tuned to an all (American) news station, I was just in time to see that the topic of discussion concerned the possibility of the Islamic group ISIS using the ebola virus against the people of the United States.

I didn’t stop to see which expert had been collar fasted to expound on the likelihood of that happening, but it was obvious that they were planning on wasting at least 15 minutes of the viewer’s time before more than likely debunking that particular theory.

However, a Google search led me to a few online stories on the subject, with one security expert saying that the militant group “may already be thinking of using Ebola as a low-tech weapon of bio terror”. Scrolling through the article, one academic gave details as to just how they would do it if they were going to do it.

In the end though, most “experts” seemed to agree that the group probably wouldn’t waste it’s time, since their other recent actions have garnered them the attention they’re looking for. But just in case the world thinks that it’s safe to breathe again, the article ended by saying that it’s quite possible that “other groups will at least contemplate using such suicide infectors”.

…See what he was talking about?

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2 thoughts on “Too Much Talk

  1. The 24 hr stations are ridiculous. Back when there were only a handful of channels, each was supposed to provide a news hour at an operating loss as part of public service. Then one day the networks figured out how to turn news into ratings and infotainment was born. Sigh….

    1. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to work in the news business. It seems similar to politics – I think most people go in with good intentions, but ratings/money speak louder than anything else.

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