8
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I am an instrument of fear and propaganda,

I am bringer of ill news.

But if you see me, you may laugh,

I can distract you on a bad day.

The world is glued to me,

Loving but one part of me.

You complain of the cost of me,

And can't use me unless you have, well,

I would love to tell you, but then, of course, I'd have to kill you.

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  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The 1st five lines perfectly describe the nightly news. :) $\endgroup$ – JLee May 10 '15 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hahaha... Very funny $\endgroup$ – AJL May 10 '15 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ Great to see the unofficial slogan of Puzzling SE incorporated in a riddle! ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 10 '15 at 19:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This feels like it could have multiple answers. $\endgroup$ – Bob May 10 '15 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think it may be ambiguous too.... Sorry, my um.. second riddle or so $\endgroup$ – AJL May 11 '15 at 0:17
3
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Are you

Television

I am an instrument of fear and propaganda,

I am bringer of ill news.

These two are relatively obvious, as network news stations love to fearmonger for ratings

But if you see me, you may laugh,

Not all shows on TV are bad.

I can distract you on a bad day.

TV could arguably be based on the same concepts as musical theatre, which was designed to act as a distraction during bad times

The world is glued to me,

The basic idiom "glued to the television set" comes to mind

Loving but one part of me.

People love TV, but they hate cable companies

You complain of the cost of me,

Because they are exorbitantly expensive

And can't use me unless you have, well,

Nowadays, however, television sets require either a good internet connection or a cable subscription in order to get anything outside the basic OTA channels

I would love to tell you, but then, of course, I'd have to kill you.

Who doesn't love to quote their favorite tv shows and movies? Also, if this line were actually finished, it would be a large give away to the answer of the riddle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your train of thought was almost exactly the same as mine, good job. The last line was in reference to the line from Sherlock(if I'm not mistaken), which is a TV show. Just wanted to slip it in somehow :-) $\endgroup$ – AJL May 11 '15 at 20:00
2
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Are you

a smartphone?

I am an instrument of fear,

lots of people fears to forget or lose theirs

I am bringer of ill news.

when the phone ring, you might have some bad news

But if you see me, you may laugh,

depending on what's playing on it, you might laugh

I can distract you on a bad day.

if you read funny stuff on it, it might cheer you up

The world is glued to me,

everybody is looking at their, in the metro, in the bus even in their car

Loving but one part of me. You complain of the cost of me,

smart phone can be expensive as data plans

And can't use me unless you have, well,

you can't use it if you don't have one.

I would love to tell you, but then, of course, I'd have to kill you.

I think this one is not related to the smartphone but as a joke from OP saying we need to find it because he wont tell us :)

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  • $\begingroup$ The item you named works, but I was thinking of something else. The last line does have meaning. $\endgroup$ – AJL May 11 '15 at 0:08
1
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Are you

heroin (or similar narcotics)?

I am an instrument of fear and propaganda,

Anti-drug campaigns often emphasize the adverse effects of drugs to scare teenagers away from them

I am bringer of ill news.

If you die of overdose, your family will have bad news

But if you see me, you may laugh,

You may be very happy when you are high and you see more drugs

I can distract you on a bad day.

You can be distracted by getting high

The world is glued to me,

Addicts are glued to drugs. Dealers may also be dependent on them (financially)

Loving but one part of me.

Love the high, but not the adverse effects

You complain of the cost of me,

Last time I checked, heroin is quite expensive

And can't use me unless you have, well,

Can't use drugs if you don't have drugs. Or if this is a continuation of the previous sentence, then can't use drugs if you don't have money

I would love to tell you, but then, of course, I'd have to kill you.

To understand the high you will have to try it, but each time you take it you decrease your life expectancy

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, but no. $\endgroup$ – AJL May 11 '15 at 1:26

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