Probably it is A Good Thing that I have not lost my ability to be astonished at the age of almost fifty-three. It would be mitigated considerably did I not watch quite so much News Programming.
I swear to you that I do far more talking to the people on television who irritate me than I do to those actually in my presence. Can just anyone get an On-Air Gig these days? It sure seems like it because some of these "on-air personalities" say such goofy stuff that, once I hear it, I sit there open-mouthed, blinking and furrow-browed, wondering if it is Bring A Bystander To Work Day.
~*~Was I the only one who heard the blurb for (I think) Inside Edition in which the personality breathlessly directed viewers to join them for their report about the Costa Concordia disaster, "a real-life Titanic!"? Oh, help me now. I like to call this The Disney Effect. Just like the vast majority of America's children have no idea that there ever was a story/fairytale of Snow White or Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast first, (or that Pocahontas was a real person), some yahoo at Inside Edition honestly believes that the Titanic is simply a boat in a movie. Or just a movie. Period.
~*~A couple weekends ago, when the film The Vow went wide, some reviewer was on a morning show. She was asked, "Who is this movie for?" This woman went on to say this (and this is not a direct quote, but I am damn close. Seriously.): "Oh, females will definitely want to see this. This is a film for women. And girls will definitely want to see this, definitely. And men. This is a film for them as well." Why does this female/girl/woman have this job? I definitely don't know.
~*~This week, there was a string of horrible storms in the South. Alabama got hit with tornadoes that did terrible damage. CNN cut live to a location where a local reporter was ready to talk to a host named Robin and give her an idea of the extent of that damage. Here is how it went:
Robin: Now we'll go live to H---, Alabama where a local affiliate has a reporter standing by.
Reporter: Hi, Robin. As you can see, residents here are coming back to little more than rubble here in H---. The tornado destroyed homes, uprooted trees, and left massive piles of debris behind.
Robin: Wow. Quite a scene there.
Reporter: It's amazing. And here, just to show you the mighty power of that incredible storm...look up in that tree. (camera pans up into a nearby tree) That...is a pillow. A pillow up in that tree.
Okay...what? Listen, I am five-four and have had a shoulder surgery and I can throw a freaking pillow up into a tree. I can also make a regulation three-point shot with a basketball and haul a 42-pound box of cat litter to and from my car, yet no one has ever described me as a "mighty power." At least not for any of that. My point is, that tornado levelled the entire town and you are impressed with a pillow in a tree? If it was a tractor, then we have something to talk about. If it was a pillow sticking through a tree, then, yeah, we can be amazed. But come on!
In the Age Of The 24-Hour News Cycle, it would seem "professional journalism" is on its way to becoming an oxymoron.