How Reading the News is Like Smoking

The news is an addictive product.

Like cigarettes, this product can have a profound negative impact on your health. Almost without exception it will make you lonelier, more anxious, more distrustful of others, and more depressed.

We do this on purpose. Even at the reporter level, some of us know what we’re doing.

When you order a Double Whopper and fries, nobody at the BK counter tells you to stop jogging and lay off salads and apples. But the cashier can probably guess that’ll be a consequence.

It’s the same with us. We know we’re in the emotional manipulation business. We know we’re training you to unmoor yourself from reality and adopt self-destructive habits. 

After a lifetime of following the news, most customers will lose – usually forever – the ability to understand what they’re getting into. There are no warning labels on the news. If there were, here is what they might say:

THE NEWS IS A CONSUMER PRODUCT

If you take away nothing else from this book, please try to remember this.

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