"Last month local TV newsrooms
across the country, mine included, did dozens of stories about breast cancer. Dozens of them. It was after all, breast-cancer awareness month, and we, pardon the pun, milked it for all it was worth. In the words of another writer, our newscasts were all packaged in a 'tight pink ribbon.' This was not an accident. Never mind the inconvenient little fact that breast cancer is not the leading killer of women - that would be heart disease. It's not even the leading cancer killer. That would be lung cancer, followed by colorectal cancer. But why does breast cancer get coverage that is so disproportionate to its toll? Why don't TV stations do month-long, flood-the-zone stories on, say, colon cancer? Because breast cancer is a disease tailor-made for the hype/fear factory of local TV news. In all the world's cultures the breast has been a symbol of life and fertility. In American culture, it is a symbol of sex, too. How could your local TV station go wrong flooding the zone over this issue?"