Bob Brody
Bob Brody

This just in. The news is really bad today. It’s even worse than yesterday.

Guess what the news will be tomorrow? That’s right! It’s going to be worse still. Guaranteed.

Unless it somehow gets better. Which we all know is never going to happen.

Seriously, that's no hype. We have video!

Yes, the news in 2024 is going to be worse than anything that happened last year. Or in the last century. Or even in previous millennia.

Just a little heads-up here for all you PR pros out there planning to get crazy opportunistic in your media relations activities.

Take the weather, for starters. The weather is getting really obnoxious. At this very moment, all 8.2 billion people on the planet are directly in the path of some weather threat. Minimum. Chances are, your house will get blown away just a few minutes from now, right after your backyard collapses into a highly photogenic sinkhole.

Hard to believe, but true.

Look at that five-alarm fire yesterday. Whoever could have predicted a five-alarm fire? Just what are the odds that on any given day a downtown warehouse storing flammable liquids and abandoned 30 years ago and long scheduled for demolition would suddenly burst into flames?

No one saw that coming.

Maybe you require further proof. So here’s footage of a puppy almost drowning in a tsunami – the cute little rascal paddling away all helpless and hopeless in the relentless surge. Your heart will break – at least until our cameraman rescues the pooch.

Oh, and by the way, the flood should reach your front door any second.

Paging Noah, please.

Naturally we could touch on politics, too – how it’s even more out of control than the weather.

We could also highlight all the violence out there – how you’re feeling endangered just going to the bathroom because some mugger could be lurking under your toilet brandishing an automatic weapon bought under the counter at a convenience store around the corner from your house.

This is what we in the TV news racket do. We triple-checked this concept of never-ending apocalyptic collapse in 2024 for factual accuracy. And it’s objectively true. Again, this is our business. We signed up for this.

No wonder people so often say, “Hey, it could be worse.” Day in and day out, our reporters demonstrate with scientific precision that this claim is empirically correct. It could be and, according to our metrics, it certainly will be worse indeed.

For further evidence, just scope out our program format. We get you going with our fanfare, trumpets blaring and kettledrums thundering, a clearcut signal that we’re serving a monumentally significant purpose in society. We let you know repeatedly that we’re on the case 24/7, if not more. We dangle cliffhanger teasers asking a question and then saying how the answer may surprise you.

And just in case you, the viewer, are ever unpersuaded that we’re doing a good job, our anchors make a point of praising our correspondents on-air for reports filed.

So now you know what to expect from us. But beware the potential side effects. You may come away from our shows questioning the value of human existence in the first place. You might feel tempted to cower shuddering in your home with your family and ask yourself why you bother getting out of bed in the morning.

Just saying is all.

This much you can count on: As long as news keep breaking, we’ll bring you the drama and then the drama behind the drama. We’ll deliver updates and then, at no extra charge – and in real time – we’ll update those updates.

We’ll tell you about all those important new studies – about how it’s actually better to be sorry than safe and how running is frequently found to be faster than walking and, for that matter, sitting.

So welcome to the TV news, also known as what else has gone wrong in the world since you last looked. Your best bet? Just stay tuned.

We know what will happen next. You’ll cover your eyes with your hands. But then your curiosity will kick in. No matter how bad it all gets out there, you’ll wind up peeking between your fingers anyway.


Bob Brody, a consultant and essayist, is author of the memoir “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.” He is a former senior vice president of Rubenstein, Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick. His humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.