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Bad News Summer: President Says Media Makes It Seem Like World is “Falling Apart”

There are two old myths, one not much older than the other. There is the myth of Cassandra, who was given the gift of prophecy but also the curse of never being believed. There is also the myth of Chicken Little – a folk tale that goes back more than 2500 years – which tells the tale of a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end, when in fact it isn’t. Both tales are highly relevant today, in light of all the unrest that’s unfolding across the globe.

According to TheHill.com, President Obama spoke at a fundraiser and suggested that many in the media are more Chicken Little than Cassandra. “If you watch the nightly news,” the President said, “it feels like the world is falling apart.” He said that the Middle East has always posed both challenges and threats the United States and that the Russian incursion into the Ukraine pales in comparison to the Cold War era.

However all of the old hawks – Sen. John McCain, Bill Kristol, and others – suggest that the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria only confirms their previous assertions that long-term military engagement in those areas is the only way forward. Newer pro-war voices, like that of Greg Gutfeld on Fox News, remain wholly convinced that radical Islam is an existential evil that only the U.S. military can wipe out.

While it makes sense that both those on the right want to ratchet up the frenzy around these foreign crises (it is an election year, after all)  and the President and those on the left would want to downplay them slightly, the role social media plays is not to be underestimated.

Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, people have greater access to content about all sorts of various problems and the deluge of headlines and status updates and tweets about it all can be overwhelming. Awareness of what’s happening in the world is a good thing, whether it’s Cassandra or Henny Penny telling you about it.

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.