I turned on one of the regional TV news stations last night to watch the news, and saw it had sent a reporter to Bennington, Vermont, for a story. I go fishing over that way fairly frequently and was interested to see what was going on.

The local newspaper had a run a cartoon that some thought was insensitive. That's what was going on. (I learned later that another local station also had thought this was "news" and had sent reporters and their equipment to broadcast "live" from the scene from Albany to western Vermont.)

Now I feel like I'm wasting the 10 minutes or so it takes to write this blog post talking about ridiculous news coverage of a cartoon. But I think it's an example of how we really have lost perspective on things.

Our country has a lot of problems, too many to list.

How to stop this never ending cycle of mass shootings is a more pressing topic to me than a cartoon that is designed to be thought-provoking, frankly. 

How to stop distracted driving, fresh in my mind after I watched a woman in a grey Toyota minivan run a stop sign near Kensington Elementary School while looking at her cellphone this morning, is another.

I can go on and on and on.

With all the newsworthy, educational topics reporters and media outlets can focus on in this information age, a decision to run or not run a cartoon is about as low on the coverage list as you can get, in my eyes.

Unfortunately, a lot of news coverage -- particularly on television -- is driven these days by what people rant about on social media. And the people of Facebook were up in arms about this cartoon!! Look how many comments and reactions it got!!! 

Then again, it seems the people of Facebook find something to be up in arms about every day, warranted or not.

We are a nation of irate people who have to be upset at something at all times, it seems. And I think that has become a big part of our problem.

-- Don Lehman



Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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