Why A News Junkie From Jump Street Junked The News

Michael Levin
2 min readSep 6, 2021


I have no idea what’s happening in the world, and I like it that way.

This is strange, because I’ve been a news junkie from the time I was a 10-year-old kid.

I was so fearful as a child that I set my clock radio to the news station, the local CBS outlet in New York.

That way, when I woke up, I could be reassured, if the stories were normal, that the world had not blown up overnight.

I was such a nerd and newshound that I subscribed to Newsweek at age 12.

Get the picture?

So, I found myself uncomfortable, to say the least, when Dr. David Perlmutter, in his recent book, suggested giving up the news.

His point was that news triggers negative emotions, which triggers inflammation, which triggers illness.

Giving up the news, by contrast, he argues, creates peace of mind.

I’ve always considered it a civic duty to be informed.

Unfortunately, these days, most of the news outlets out there no longer consider it a civic responsibility to provide accurate information about anything.

Instead, opinion masquerades as news.

Clickbait masquerades as information.

Our news media today is no more reliable than the news Soviet citizens received back in the day.

So I tried disconnecting.

I went cold turkey.


I gave up my daily hour or so with the Wall Street Journal online.

I stopped reading everything from TheIntercept.com to the National Review.

Even gave up sports talk radio and news in the car.

I’d love to tell you that I have become a much more serene person.

I don’t know if that’s true, but I will say this:

I don’t miss the negative emotions that digging through the news generates.

I feel as though I am no longer a prey to the anger, anxiety, fear, and resentment that I regularly experienced when getting the news.

Or getting what passes for news today.

I don’t miss it.

And I’m not going back.

My first job out of college was working for CBS News, which is somehow not surprising.

I got to sit in the control booth during Walter Cronkite’s last months, and watch him deliver what was then…news.

Walter Cronkite would never approve of what passes for news today.

I’m not totally in the dark.

I know that we left Afghanistan, and I know that Covid is still happening.

But that’s all I know.

If something else happens, I’m sure someone will tell me.

And in the meantime, I don’t set my alarm to the news station anymore.

I don’t even set an alarm.

Dr. Perlmutter is right.

Today’s news, whether consumed online, on radio, over the Internet, on TV, or by any other means, is bad for your health.

Try going without it.

You’ll thank me.



Michael Levin

New York Times bestselling author, Michael has written, planned or edited more than 700 business books, business fables, and memoirs over the past 25 years.