I'm watching Good Morning America. They're doing a segment on "Breast Exams: Do They Do More Harm Than Good?" -- one they've been promoting incessantly since the program began. Mighty ironic since GMA personality Robin Roberts' breast self-examination helped her identify and then fight her breast cancer.
But wait! There's more! The gist of the feature is that some -- repeat, some -- women may become obsessive about monthly breast self-exams and wind up subjecting themselves to more biopsies and their attendant pain and anxiety. Their resident medical expert's conclusion? If you self-examine every month, don't stop doing it; but if you don't, or if this is a stress-inducing exercise for you, try to relax and have a more "informal relationship with your breasts." (No jokes, please.)
It seems to me that fear, not reassurance, is the guiding principle in airing pseudo-news like this. Michael Moore is right; the media thrives by manufacturing and feeding fear. And to the extent that we let ourselves be made afraid by the media, we disempower ourselves.
I think I am going to e-mail GMA and tell them what I think about their feature. Feel free to join me.