It's my impression (subjective, so it could be wrong, but of course I don't think it is) that sports coverage has been increasing on national and local radio and TV news broadcasts. Increasing, I mean, both in saliva-spraying intensity and in the percentage of the average news broadcast consumed by sports nonsense.
I hate sports, and I'll admit right away that, despite my general commitment to a philosophy of living and letting live, if I were king of the world (if only!), watching or discussing sports would be outlawed for anyone old enough to drive. If they wanted to discuss the latest exploits of people who kick or hit or throw balls of various sizes and shapes, adults would be forced to gather in dark, dank, garbage-strewn alleys and talk in murmurs - until the Royal Vice Police swooped in to brutally arrest the perverts and ship them off to reeducation camps.
Be that as it may, sports exist, as they always have and - sigh - probably always will. But why is an ever greater chunk of what is supposed to be broadcast news being devoted to them? Why is it displacing real news, even the fluffy, local stuff? Why are sports statistics referred to as history and the outcomes of games given more weight than major political events?
Ask a Roman emperor. Sports news is our bread and circuses, but without the bread. The aim is to fire the viewers up about something they can feel involved in, to delude them that they can win, albeit vicariously, or if they lose, they can feel hope for next year. That idea isn't new, but the increase in the emphasis on sports is. The news media seem to feel that ever more misdirection is needed. It makes me wonder what they think may be coming, in this empire of ours. Or perhaps they fear that reality is seeping through, as in a Philip K. Dick story, so they have to shout louder and longer to mask it.