Saturday, September 13, 2008

News Whine, Part One - "Man Watches Newscast And Summarily Leaves Room In Disgust"

Headlines from a major website that features news stories on the top of the page, then as you cascade down; entertainment, sports, and who the hell knows what. These are actual links that were mixed in with election coverage, hurricanes, the Olympics and the Georgia/Russia skirmish.

Disabled turtle rides custom skateboard to romance

Trying the new buzz snacks

Cat survives 70-mile trip under owner's truck

Cow faces off with bear

Vincent Price's cooking tips

(The man has been dead for fifteen years.)

Rogue monkey runs amok in Tokyo subway | Video

(Jesus, you BETTER have the video.)

I'm getting pooped on a little these days. My interest in news programming has reached an all-time low and I seem to be attracting attention as a Pollyanna or at least a guy with his fingers shoved in his ears sitting in a cave under Tierra Del Fuego.

In fact, I am just on a very strict media diet. It is strict in the way that it is very limited, I can't overindulge and I take any and all doses with a bowl of All-Bran. What is on twenty-four hours a day, every single day, is not news. It is discussion. I like discussion, but I get bored quickly when I discover than none of the participants have any true stake in the outcome. The talking heads on cable news are in it for face time. They really could not care less about the issues that mean the most to us, including the election.

So I don't watch at all. But I am informed. I'll give you the difference. News is: Barack Obama spoke in Ohio today on the campaign trail. Done. That's it. I'm informed. If I want to hear what he said, I can find out. That event is the news. Dissecting the tone, the colloquialisms, the verbiage, the tie he wore, his stance, his gait, his delivery, who was there, how many, their reactions, how many times they applauded, the weather, the last minute changes, his wife's presence, what the speech will mean to the old, the young, men and women, Latinos and farmers, independents, libertarians nurses, teachers, the NAACP, Star Trek impersonators, the feeble, the discombobulated, Donald Trump's wig craftsman, my Aunt Sal, your Uncle Delbert, hunky firemen and the International Belt Buckle Collectors Society…not really important.

So I abstain. Sue me.

Here's another reason: Journalism is dead. It's more rotting and decomposed than Elizabethan sonnets and 8-tracks. When I read my news online, I have to weed out the important information and article titles from the sea of inane garbage they use to get us to see more advertising. It's basically a very sophisticated Penny Saver. I know there are more serious sites out there then the mainstream fluff, but why?

Oh, I know why. And you do to. There's really not enough news everyday for them to fill up a paper or a website . Well, technically there is, but they would have to go out into the world and investigate the events that transpire and then report what they'd seen. What's that called? Oh, yeah. Journalism.

Cogito ergo doleo.

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