No news is good news

It occurred to me in a moment of contemplation earlier today that the phrase, “No news is good news” actually has a triple-meaning. I’m sure most people have figured this out and I am once again the last pig at the trough, but discovered it I have:

First meaning: The absence of news which one is expecting to receive (e.g. from a doctor, and interview, etc.) is good news, because you don’t yet know the outcome and can imagine that the outcome is still in your favor.

Second meaning: The absence of news, in general, is good news because the news, and in particular, the TV evening news broadcasts in prime time, have been going steadily downhill ever since Edward R. Murrow graced our TV sets. Thus, turning off the TV and not paying any attention to the news is a good thing. For instance, when you are on vacation and there is no television, then no news is good news!

Third meaning: NO NEWS is good news. Or, to put it conversely, ALL NEWS is bad news. Top stories especially. It’s always something like, “12 year old P.G. county boy kills mother and brother”. You never have a top story like, “12 year old P.G. county boy slays dragon” or “Bush Admits Pact with Devil”. It is all categorically bad.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.