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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2005 / 6 Sivan, 5765

What if CNN hadn't happened?

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | CNN was born 25 years ago this month. It was a simple yet awesome invention, the brainchild of Ted Turner, who saw a world of satellites and cable and got the idea for a 24-hour news channel. Turner is a man who often asks "Why not?" rather than "Why?"

Therein lies our difference.

Twenty-five years later, I find myself asking "Why?" all the time about CNN. Not just CNN, of course, but all it has spawned. You could argue that without CNN there is no Fox News, no MSNBC, no Court TV, no E! Entertainment, no Bill O'Reilly, no "Hardball," no Hannity or Colmes, no updates every five minutes on Michael Jackson in his pajamas.

Imagine a world without all that.

Would our lives really be lessened?

The problem with the magic of 24-hour news wasn't the genie, it was the bottle. The bottle burst. CNN began with less than 1 percent of U.S. homes as potential audience; that figure today, if you throw in all the branded networks around the world, has been estimated at 1.5 billion — nearly one-fourth the world's population.

Think about that. From Tasmania to Timbuktu. I read once about a nomad in the Middle East who lived in a tent but had a satellite dish and CNN on the screen.

What's wrong with this? It shrinks the world to a sheep herd of images. A single piece of footage, no more than 10 seconds long, now can deify or destroy a person across the planet.

We don't know facts; we know images. Among CNN's recently cited 25 biggest stories were the space shuttle Columbia, Tiananmen Square and Monica Lewinsky. Each one conjures up a visual: an exploding spacecraft, a violent protest, a raven-haired intern hugging a president. Most of us don't know all the details. But we feel like we do.

And we can't help feeling that way about the stuff CNN doesn't congratulate itself on: the Robert Blake trial, Ben and Jennifer, the runaway bride. We've been hypnotized by those overblown events, too. At times, we can't help it. Just try going to an airport these days and NOT seeing cable news. It's blasting everywhere, in hotel lobbies, in bars, in restaurants.

It's an intravenous drip. Input, input, input. Mainlined into your veins and brains.

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I'm not sure this is a good thing. The world is a majestic place for a reason. It requires perspective. It requires effort. It requires travel, face-to-face contact, smelling strange foods, walking in strange sand. A box will not deliver that, no matter how much high-definition it contains.

Sure, there's value in being informed. But given the choice between not knowing something or claiming you know it because you saw a 20-second story on it, well, which is more dangerous? We all feel smarter with cable news. But we also feel entitled to scream opinions about foreign governments or some abusive parent in Florida. Are we better for that?

Are we better for the competition cable news has fostered, creating a liberal vs. conservative hell storm, a fight for "gotcha" interviews and endless celebrity fawning? Are we better for all the repetition? I worked for a cable news network a few years long ago. I remember being asked to talk about Chandra Levy every 10 minutes. As I said earlier: Why?

Maybe I'm just getting older. But I'm not sure everybody knowing two minutes of everything is a goal to which humans should aspire. There's a value to smallness, to villages that are not global. There's also a value to life's mystery. To saying "I wonder what's happening across the planet" without having a machine you think can tell you.

There's no going back. The genie has run wild. I congratulate CNN on its 25th birthday but confess there are times I wish it hadn't been born.

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