Case in point: After a positive deluge of frenzied coverage in the days, and now weeks, following the tragedies in Boston, our press glossed over an earthquake in China that claimed 15 victims, a building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 87 and a Moscow psychiatric hospital fire that snuffed out 38 lives.
Could you imagine if the hospital fire had occurred in one of our major cities? Twitter vigilantes would be posting one speculative comment after another speculating not only on who set the blaze, but also falsely accusing anyone, and everyone, captured on the building’s security cameras of being terrorists. Forced to rush to judgment, our cable and mainstream broadcasters would assign armies of reporters to the beleaguered hospital grounds and repeatedly ask the same bystanders the very same question, “What did you see and, more importantly, how did you feel when you heard 38 people had died?”
American’s obsession with America is unhealthy. It limits our understanding of the increasingly interconnected global economy. More importantly, it puts our Millennials, and their younger peers, at an increasing competitive disadvantage. The less they know about global events, the less prepared they’ll be to compete in the future.
So, while our media fixates about Justin Bieber’s latest meltdown, other, more responsible sources such as the BBC World News will provide viewers with continent-by-continent updates on developments that really matter.
America is doing many, many things wrong at the moment. And, while the epicenter of inertia may be the Beltway, make no mistake that our increasingly parochial news coverage is providing a very real disservice to our nation’s young people. When the time comes for them to compete with their peers in China, India, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere, they’ll know next to nothing about the rest of the world. But, they will be able to cite chapter, and verse, about Lindsay Lohan’s latest transgression. That knowledge (in combination with a complete lack of global perspective) will ensure a long, and rewarding, career behind the counter of the nearest McDonald’s Restaurant.