“Now . . . This”

18 Jul 2011 /

“Now . . . this” is commonly used on radio and television newscasts to indicate that what one has just heard or seen has no relevance to what one is about to hear or see, or possibly to anything one is likely to hear or see. . . . There is no murder so brutal, no earthquake so devastating, no political blunder so costly–for that matter, no ball score so tantalizing or weather report so threatening–that it cannot be erased from our minds by a newscaster saying “Now . . . this.” The newscaster means that you have thought long enough on the previous matter (approximately forty-five seconds), that you must not be morbidly preoccupied with it (let us say, for ninety seconds), and that you must now give your attention to another fragment of news or a commercial.

— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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