It’s that time of year when the Toy Hall of Fame inducts new members. There are classics up for consideration like little green army men and Operation, as well as newer toys such as Rubic’s Cube. Pots and pans, bubbles and paper airplane could also be chosen. In the past they have inducted stick and cardboard box, so why not?
I enjoyed the 10 minute segment on the Toy Hall of Fame and then I just had to smile. I was watching a very non-news story on a 24 hour news channel which means one thing – no news. When there is a major event, the kind that causes the networks to interrupt regular programming, such a story gets continuous coverage for a few days. The news networks drop just about everything and suddenly panels of “experts” on that subject appear on every channel. During such an event several years ago I quietly wondered what the news would be showing at that moment had said big story not broken. That happened a couple of times before I started paying attention. The answer of course is a 10 minute segment on the Toy Hall of Fame. Or it could be a list of best vacation getaways, what celebrities are wearing or how to choose the perfect pet. The 24 hour news cycle requires a dozen channels to have live content on the air at all times. During an event like 9/11 that’s easy to do and viewers demand it. Other stories are newsworthy but not as big. Remember the Deep Water Horizon thing a couple of years ago? After a few days of nonstop coverage we really weren’t getting any new information. After the third Bill Nye appearance it became clear the story had been manufactured into something bigger than it really was. Looking back perhaps the notion that igniting underground stores of methane gas would blow up the world and end all life on earth was a bit of a stretch.
Which brings us to this: no news is good news. I don’t blow a gasket when HLN spends 10 minutes speculating which toys will make the Hall of Fame. That means there has not been another shooting in Canada, ISIS has not executed any more hostages and no other ebola patients have died in the U.S. They will never come right out and say “Hey folks nothing happened in the world today that you should be concerned about.” But when they have a live reporter in the Halloween aisle helping you choose a costume for Fido, that means everything is okay.