For the past several hours, I’ve been posting comments to other blogs I read and inane items on my own. As I do so, CNN drones in the background. I switch from MSNBC in the morning, where my tuner typically rests from the previous night– I simply can’t watch or listen to Joe Scarborough and his minions. Why get off to a bad start? Imus used to be tolerable. The whole “locker room” thing was hard to take and he pissed me off a lot but at least he played some great music–and he was larger than life. I could rationalize his shortcomings on the basis of an imagined self-parody. I can’t do that with Scarborough. He’s simply annoying and his “Kelly Ripa,” Mika, is embarrassing. Lately CNN isn’t much better, it’s just different.
Now, I don’t claim to be a journo but have written for years, just not news. I read and type much too slowly for that line of work but do seek information, confirm it and then use it to better understand/explain current events. If one doesn’t want to be full of crap, in a world drowning in crap, individual effort is essential.
For the past three hours, CNN has been talking about Obama’s gift to the Queen, an I-Pod 6gB (she already has at least one), Barack’s greeting of the queen, (Did he bow?) and Michelle’s embrace by the queen. “Experts” on Royal protocol have analyzed looped videos of each incident, as pundits comment and little else has apparently occurred in the world this morning, at least as far as I can tell from CNN. Perhaps I’d get better info from Fox. Nope. On Fox, the sky is falling.
I just heard for the 4th time what Mrs’ Obama is wearing Again with the curtsy and I-Pod for the Queen. Finally I saw some protesters, just now, for about 30 seconds.
At long last, a breaking weather watch in the southeast…20 seconds. Back to the protectors. Apparently one died…5 second mention, no details provided. Back to G-2o grip and grins, no news, speculation, the G-2o “class photo” and so on.
The point? 24-hour news is as useless as contact lenses in the desert. Except for cataclysmic events (which in some cases, are also a stretch), 24-hour news has hurt, not helped the world.
We don’t need to know know about the latest abducted white girl, local plane crash in which no one was killed (good news but beyond Butte, where it happened, who cares?). Do we need play-by-ply analysis of obscure court proceedings, the stock and trade of ambulance chasers like Nancy Grace? Do we need to know what Madonna or Brittany or Paris did this morning, last night or last month?
We see much more but learn far less from these 24-hour news operations whose “news” is often anything but. They’ve all severely reduced oversees agencies/reporters, which once provided them more legitimacy.
I listen more than I watch, since I’m either working, blogging , both or simply wasting time doing something that keeps me from sitting in front of the TV. But when something happens that grabs attention, I can glance over and watch the story, but it’s amazing how little the picture actually conveys on most TV news.
A couple years ago, I started watching/listening to C-SPAN and find it generally more informative (albeit at a snail’s pace) than cable news. I like hearing actual statements and experiencing exchanges uttered on the House and Senate floors, which are often remarkably different from what major networks report. I could do without the grandstanding, posturing and recognition of locals in one’s district who won a major award for this or that, which is, of course mandatory by virtue of being elected–one must represent for the peeps.
When C-SPAN stops informing or lapses into procedural purgatory, it provides a wonderful soundtrack for a nap, akin to ocean sounds, sea breezes, white noise, etc. Which makes me wonder why I’m listening to CNN’s seventh rotation as I type?
As soon as I post this, I’m hitting the SPAN. And once I get my morning work done, it may LATER be my ticket to dreamland. My lids droop just thinking about it. Just heard Dr. Gupta for the 4th time this morning (same clip) …I reach for the clicker.