Ego and the News
Contemporary spiritual teachers advise against paying too much attention to the news media because they appeal pruriently to the ego, which is obsessed with self-preservation yet drawn paradoxically to the adrenaline rush of danger. Maybe the co-existence of those two factors explains the popularity of horror and violence in entertainment media -- we are able to feel the physical/emotional reaction without being in any real danger. The simulation of imminent danger also promotes ego's agenda to focus consciousness on personal survival rather than on Oneness. I wouldn't discount either the grotesque satisfaction ego draws from the experience of remaining safe while watching others endure hideous suffering.