Here's a summer experiment. Instead of spending an hour a day watching TV "news", do the following:
- Stay up on headlines with an RSS feed to whatever news source you prefer. Check once in the morning for ten minutes, and once in the evening for ten minutes.
- Read the weekly print version of The Economist. It is perfect breakfast reading.
- Every Sunday pick up a copy of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, or the Chicago Tribune.
After a month, and probably well before that point, your fear will disappear. The bleach-blonde news delivery vector will no longer seem necessary. You'll feel much better informed. You'll realize that there is no real point in watching a talking head interpreting the news for you in front of the White House, or in a flashy TV studio. You'll also realize that video footage often distorts larger truths and serves only to titilate. It is the crack that keeps you coming back.
Once you kick the habit, you may never go back.