When I quit the cable news business, I quit cold. Angrily choosing to dump out during layoffs, I told everybody, “TV rots your brain.”
For years in newsrooms at CNN Center, I had immersed myself in crimes, wars, and disasters. I wrote them. I edited them. I produced them. In synchrony with 3,000 minds connected by technology, I took in atrocities, focused them, and made them into something tolerable: News.
Staffing the CNN networks, during those greatest years before Ted Turner was forced out, all of us put ourselves in harm’s way, not just the women and men who went into war zones. We all bore weight few understood. We knew and saw and experienced appalling things, some of which we had to keep to ourselves.
It helped to detach emotionally from that. In our time off work, when we had some, we laughed together, drank together, slept together. We dated each other and married each other. And we followed the news. No, we were never really off work. We were family.
Constantly surrounded by evil, we exposed it for the public. And somehow, what we kept finding was that life is to be cherished and lived as hard and long as you can. We found courage, happiness, and triumph and hope. And that is the news.