Bad news


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Bad news travels fast.
Bad news doesn’t get better with age.
What do you want to hear first…the good news or the bad news?

We are obsessed with bad news. Why? Because the chance of bodily hard goes way up when dropping it on your boss.

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The poor soul who has to tell the Captain the bad news is usually not the person responsible, but is often the one who bears the brunt of the C.O.’s anger. “Don’t shoot the messenger” became a popular saying for a reason.

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As a weather guy in the Navy, I often had to forecast bad weather. If a storm interfered with an operation, the forecaster was blamed, even if it had been predicted. My call sign on the mighty GEORGE WASHINGTON was “White Cloud” because of a period of dense fog that hampered shakedown exercises. The fog was forecasted, by the way, but it didn’t matter.

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As I browsed old cartoons for this article, I was surprised by the number of “bad news” cartoons that have shown up in Broadside and Greenside over the years. Maybe it is because we have an insatiable appetite for it. “If it bleeds, it leads” has influenced newspapers for centuries.

As an optimist, however, I like to look at the shiny side of the coin. Bad news is like medicine. You have to take it every once in a while, but once you deal with it, it is gone. It has been written that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance builds character, and character brings hope. In other words, if you can get through the bad times, better times are around the corner – at least that’s how I read it.

That sounds like pretty good news to me.

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[Updated Apr 6]


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