I'm jamming out to Jason Webley's "Eleven Saints" and musing about some things I have noticed about the news over the past week or two. Nothing clever, mind you, and I am going to skip a few of the common complaints (such as the fact that 24-hour news-stations often have less actual news than a relatively small newspaper, and that's sad) and just meander a bit a few things that particularly struck my mind. I guess I'll aim for 8 since that's essentially a holy number for me. You know, QED...pro quo...
(1) Have you ever noticed that the news continues to confuse how well the box-office did the past week with some honest measurement of the health of the country? "MegaBoom X made under expectations! OUR ECONOMY IS DOOMED! Wait, wait, the sleeper hit Three Men Saying "Fuck" One Day* made up for it, we're SAVED!"
(2) Have you ever noticed that photos of American troops are full of pathos, focusing often on an indvidiual with a few other troops in the background to show that they are there for him? Photos of soldiers from countries we are not on the best of terms with, even countries that are technically our allies, show dozens of men in formation at a distances with their faces covered slightly by shadows as though they were bred in the insect tanks for this purpose.
(3) Have you ever noticed that most news stations have declared war on books? They only talk about books written by politicians, ex (or current) newsmedia persons, or those have already hit big. They will talk for months about some upcoming movie, but the Man Booker Prize might get a dozen seconds of coverage a year.
(4) Have you ever noticed that the newsmedia does not like covering "copyright" stories except when there is a definite "THIEVES ARE THIEVES AND DIE IN A FIRE!" bent? Outrageous extentions on copyright or borderline extortion cases are ignored.
(5) Have you ever noticed that after spend two weeks covering some celebrity's life event instead of, say, deadly race riots in China, they are likely to spend a week claiming that all the other stations and papers spent too much time covering that celebrity's life event...which really is just a ploy to cover said event more?
(6) Have you ever noticed that more than one talking head means the news content is about to drop to zero? I mean, I'm sure that's a mathematical formula. As the limit of talking heads approaches, say, two, the value of news becomes zero. They are either there to (a) talk over one another, (b) 100% agree with one another over some insipid stupidity, (c) make jokes about something that probably isn't joke worthy, or (d) make it look like there is a debate, when really one of the talking heads is getting his or her way and the others are just sitting back silently, so FoxNews (sorry, I mean, "news media") looks unbiased. Sorry, Hannity and Colmes, I wasn't meaning to imply anything.
(7) Have you ever noticed that the news has finally learned from Jon Stewart and are now playing three second clips from some decades old speech to make it sound like they are right. These same newsmedia folk ignore, say, history. Oh, and their grasp of economy sucks. See #1.
(8) Finally, have you ever noticed, that despite the fact that they play the same "Tips for a Safe Halloween" and "Holiday Safety Tips" every year, your parents still watch said tips religiously?
Si Vales, Valeo
*: Hands off, I may need to make this movie.
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Written by Doug Bolden
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