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I've also came across the same line of thinking.
All western corporate news is controlled by the same groups. Our news is non-stop negativity that almost always leaves you depressed from the violent nature of the world or burdened by the onslaught of life.
Sure, one could say "bad news sells" but I believe it goes deeper than that.
Personally, I think that the aim is to smother the population with so many negative emotions that one cannot hear themselves think.
They like things looking bleak. When they succeed, people will think it really is bleak. Then, when all the real chaos ensues, they will smile knowing that our free will was maintained.