Monday, August 25, 2008

Did You Hear the Big News?!?!

What the heck happened to news reporting? I tuned into CNN on Saturday to see if they had some interesting information about the presidential campaign. On screen were about 492 experts and pundits all working in tandem to report from the Democratic National Convention.

One of said experts--who looked to be a cross between a silver fox and a soulless imp--said there was breaking news. Wait, not "breaking news," but rather "BREAKING NEWS!!!" followed by enough swooping, swishing and flashing graphics to give you an epileptic fit.

So what need-to-know news item required such dramatic introduction? Well, according to CNN, it was the news that the Delaware delegates were being moved from the nosebleed seats in the arena down to the front and center high-roller box seats. (I guess now they get to sit next to Spike Lee and Jack Nicholson.)

The fact that the breaking news item had the word "Delaware" anywhere throughout it should have been a red flag to those CNN execs that it probably could have been buried in one of the seventeen news scrolls instead. But that's what news has become...a marketing gimmick designed to be a big giant steaming turd of a letdown.

How often have you watched a network program and the local news breaks in to tell you something shocking like, "Paula Abdul likes to kill baby seals? More on the 10 o'clock news." So, you tune in and you wait...and wait...and wait, until they tell you at 10:27 in a 10 second news blurb that PETA is angry that Paula Abdul wore a fur coat. And you're mad at yourself for falling for the rue.

Or, worse, when there is an actual news story and they cover it, and cover it, and cover it and cover it some more until you want to find the nearest blunt object and beat yourself over the head with it until it stops. I'll just mention some examples by name here which should bring back some horrible memories: OJ, Michael Jackson, Stacy Peterson, Scott Peterson, Drew Peterson, basically anybody who kills somebody else named Peterson, Brett Favre and shark attacks.

And has anybody else noticed that murder stories only get this sort of obsessive coverage if at least one of the people involved is either attractive or famous. Do you ever recall a time when a non-famous ugly person killed another non-famous ugly person and the media became a frenzy over it? Goes to show you how obsessed we are over looks that we don't care about crime news and justice unless it's got a looker or two involved or somebody who we saw on TV before.

I guess it's time to face facts. We are now all getting our news from a variety of news sources that, collectively, are essentially a version of the National Enquirer. Gotta go. Did you hear that a celebrity couple has named their newborn something strange? I must find out all about it.

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