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Sunday, March 04, 2012

These People Are The Plastic Silverware Of The News Business

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.

For example:

~*~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. 

16 comments:

  1. LOL!! "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

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  2. My personal irritant are the spelling mistakes in the running text at the bottom of the screen...AND THEY DON'T GET CORRECTED!

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  3. It's a bit better in Canada, but not a lot. A channel called 'Business News Network' has a morning host who looks like an animated Barbie Doll and knows very, very little about the subjects discussed. But she is, according to my husband who is still alive, but barely, attractive.
    Yeah.

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  4. Mary--Oh, we have one of those as well. Her name is Erin Burnett. She once said, "News of this might make the markets go up. It may even cause them to drop. And there's always the chance that it will have no impact whatsoever. The truth is, we just have no way of knowing. " O...kay. Thanks, Mistress of the Obvious. Sigh. At least the Naked News admits what its mission is! Take good care of Mr. G up there and oh, thanks everso much for the snow. NOT.

    Silliyak--Oh, how we suffer alike! Our local NBC affiliate is the absolute worst with spelling, and it is tragically hurtful to me. There is no excuse for it there, and certainly no excuse for it on a national news channel. A few days ago, on a national commercial, the word "occasion" was spelled "occasSion" in a graphic. I almost did myself an injury.

    dbso--No, not nearly often enough, either. You are so busy!

    Saw that you Southern Ohioans got a little weather down there. Yikes. And this morning, I read that our moronic governor refused federal disaster aid. Why then, did he declare a federal disaster/emergency? What an idiot, and how dare he sacrifice the citizenry for his own puffery? Sigh. Take care and stay safe. It's going to be a long storm season, I think.

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  5. If you do not care to have your news rendered completely useless,do not tune in Steve Douchbag and Kvetchin'Gretchen on Fox in the morning.

    What a pair of rejects they are.They work hard though and do the work of two men....Laurel and Hardy...

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  6. Nancy--Oh, have No Fear. I never watch Faux News.

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  7. This is a big part of why I don't watch the news. Also, the 'if it bleeds, it leads' aspect. Blech. I get a local paper every day, and the NYTimes on weekends, and hope that's enough.

    I share your frustration...and I know that a morning show on the radio is NOT the same as someone who is supposed to be informing the public of important matters, but still...I have to share the stupid things I've heard one local team say. (Not going to mention that they had no idea where Mt. Kilimanjaro is...NONE)

    1. Giraffes can't bend their knees. That's why you see pictures of them drinking water all splayed out. I swear, this one almost caused me to run a perfectly innocent bystander off the road, not on accident, but because I needed SOMEONE to suffer for such stupidity.

    2. They were trying to figure out why the Queen Mother was called the Queen Mother, instead of just the queen. They decided it was because she's the mother of the queen. A helpful British person called in to correct them and explain the applicable parts of the whole silly system to them, and they HUNG UP ON HER, and said, 'how stupid'.

    I don't listen to morning radio much, and when i do, it's usually music or NPR. You can see why.

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  8. I've solved this - I get all of my news exclusively from Facebook. There's nothing silly or incorrect there, nosiree. Ha!

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  9. Mikey G.1:20 AM

    They need these people to exist for the Daily Show to have such a plethora of material to make fun of.

    Sometimes it's painful being intelligent and realizing how completely idiot some people are.

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  10. A real life Titanic!!?? I thought everyone knew that it actually happened. Wow.

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  11. Lisa--Oh, but that would be your mistake, dear. Thinking that all of America is of at least average intelligence. Remember, these are the people who re-elected The Angel of Death and who have made individuals like Limbaugh and the Kardashians into stars.

    Mikey--I suppose that's true. I do love Jon Stewart! But our pain is real.

    Bug--And here! Once in a while you get Valuable Info here.

    j.@jj.--Holy crap. I am still alarmed about the Giraffe Thing. Were they really serious? Holy crap, they could have YouTubed a video of a giraffe walking and taken a quick look right on the air. And the whole Queen Mother thing is a tad more forgiveable until they trod into Just Plain Rudeness and the Ugly American Syndrome, and then they landed themselves on the "Need To Be Smacked List." Sigh. I feel your pain, and I have cut down my news viewing/listening drastically as of late. So Glad our primary season is OVER.

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  12. The Air-Heads are disturbing for sure.

    I am far more disturbed, however, by the fact that leading newscasters / personalities, etc. (i.e., people who have a show that bears their name) are insufferable, ego-maniacs who believe that the whole point of the news is to pursue their personal agenda of being The Ultimate News Guru. They blithely ignore any intentions of self-defense from their captive "interviewees" and interrupt them constantly to interject their own piercing questions that are designed to embarrass the person, catch them off guard, and, most importantly, show how utterly cool and efficient (read "stupidly ruthless") the interviewer is.

    *sigh*

    Walter Cronkite:

    1. Please don't turn over in your grave.

    2. Please send telepathic messages to these cretins who only want to see their names in the lights.

    3. Please reincarnate yourself into someone who can turn the clock back and return news journalism to a standard that makes it worthy of that title, instead of "reality / un-reality shows disguised as news."

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  13. Ortizzle--Oh, you and I both! It destroys me to see what David "Gregorius Interruptus" has done to Tim Russert's Meet the Press. And I am so ashamed to say that I championed DGI's cause for becoming the new host!! He is the absolute worst. And it is so easy to see his republican bias. I cannot watch that show anymore.

    Too painful.


    As usual, you are Exactly Right: rather than use the power of the 24-hour news media for Good, Solid Reporting, the media have instead used it for self-promotion Infotainment and scraping up the dregs. Why can't we just leave that to Fox, where it belongs? Rachel Maddow cannot do it all by herself, that is, maintain a high standard of reporting and class. Everyone on CNN and MSNBC has gotten lazy and just wants to broadcast WHATEVER and grab in as much market share as they can. I am weaning myself off news except for an hour a day during the week. It is difficult, but I have to do it to be sane.

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  14. Rachel Maddow is awesome. And she's not just good with a quip; she's got her finger on the facts. As in "just the facts, ma'am." (You are probably too young to remember that show, lol.)

    Irdeast omproca!
    (That's the crazy Word Ver which sounds like something you could cast a spell with. Let's hope it is "irdeast" instead of "indeast" or "ircleast." I will tell you if this does not submit, ha, ha.)

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    2nd try on Word Ver:
    severiva nceptisp!

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  15. You had me at Bring a Bystander to Work Day. By the time I got to the pillow in the tree, I was laughing to hard to explain what I was laughing about to everyone else.

    I remember hearing a newscaster say about someone who had been in an accident, "He survived until his death on XYZ date." I thought, "Aren't all of us surviving until our deaths?"

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  16. V--Glad I can make you laugh! Re: "surviving." I think that many people, news commentators/reporters included, fail to take into consideration context often enough. For those of us who are writers, we know and understand the baggage that comes with words. When I hear "survive", it evokes struggle and hardship and really working hard to live. I think there is such disregard currently for this meaning of words.

    I suppose, to be fair, that it isn't always the fault of the person reading the news. Precious few of them actually write what they read.

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