Study: Watching Local News Makes You Fatalistic

Local news stories could make you kinda ... meh ... about cancer.

Are you addicted to Action News? A Fox News aficionado? Guess what? It’s making you fatalistic. That’s right: The more tragic house fires, big traffic snarl-ups and heartwarming rescues of kittens you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to shrug your shoulders about fighting cancer, according to an analysis of data by scientists from Cornell University and Ohio State.

Chronic local-news viewers are less likely to take active steps to avoid cancer—like quitting smoking or eating more veggies—and more likely to view the disease as an inescapable, unavoidable, randomly dispersed doom, like a lightning strike. Why should this be so? The scientists theorize that in its desperation to boost ratings, local news presents so many possible cancer threats—bras, coffee, deodorant, microwaves, hot tea, mouthwash—that viewers throw up their hands under the constant bombardment, concluding that life itself causes cancer and nothing they do to stave it off can matter.

Which is probably true, but then, Melissa Magee is the bomb.