Thursday, December 08, 2005

The CNN Effect

NaturalBlog has always wanted to coin a word. I've struggled for years to come up with a single word to describe a feeling of surprise at the absence of something, but recently decided that even if I could figure out the word, it probably wouldn't catch on.

So I decided to go with this:


It describes the moth-to-a-flame feeling you get when you see the breaking news logo on your favorite cable news station, the strange lure you have to watching the same video over and over and to hearing ad-libbing news anchors read the same copy again and again. It describes when you're powerless, but transfixed.

Yesterday I was newsmerized by CNN's coverage of an air marshall shooting a passenger on an American Airlines plane in Miami.

Of course, yesterday just showed a fraction of the power of newsmerization. It was nothing compared to the 12 consecutive hours I spent in front of the TV during the run-up to Hurricane Katrina in August, trying to discern even the slightest difference in satellite storm pictures. Or during the granddaddy of all newsmerization, the 9/11 Terror Attacks, or its first ever instance, the first Gulf War.

Newsmerized. Please use it in everyday conversation.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to argue with you and say the first opportunity of newsmerization was not the gulf war in 91, but the OJ Simpson "high speed chase" - but I googled it and remembered that it was in 1992. Drat! Natural Blog wins again.

On a related note - do you remember your first "news event" that you became aware of? Not just your basic story, but one where to this day you can remember what you were doing, where you were, what the weather was, etc.

For my parents, the shooting of JFK was a one of those events. For me, it was the Challenger blowing up on that day in January. Certainly, 9-11 was a more emotionally scarring event, but the event that broke me out of my little world was seeing the shuttle blow up.

Wish I had the word you created back in 1981. It's perfect.

December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naturalbl0g Newsmerizes me!

December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call Webster's STAT!

December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was newsmerized by footage from Chicago's Midway Airport last night.

December 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we forget newsmerization's many forms: "brokawestruck" and "wolfblitzted".

December 12, 2005  

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