11 July 2006

Breaking News Is Broken

All day yesterday on all of the cable channels, we were subjected to a barrage of "breaking news" and a spate of adjectives that would have scared Dracula.

A bad thing had happened. Either by accident on intent, a building fell down in New York and 15 people were injured in some fashion. Given the current state of terror in the world, this was worthy of an alert when it happened and the cause was still unknown. Even at this point it didn't require wall to wall coverage, as there was no reason for people to change their normal lives.

From that point on, it was repeated interruptions in the regular news cycle, analysis of divorce laws in New York, minute by minute speculation regarding the possibility of a suicide by an obviously sad man following a contentious divorce. None of which was really the public's business.

News has gotten more and more hysterical. A single story will be milked to death while other stories with fewer pictures will be ignored. The "reporters" on TV have become nothing but glorified readers with little or no understanding of the subjects they are supposed to cover. The days of the great anchors who actually wrote their own copy and had an intelligent, historical perspective on the news is over.

The cable channels take us farther and farther down the road of packaged, slanted news viewed by an ever more complacent public with little or no actual relay of information. A public disconnected from information is one ripe for a dictatorship, and there is more abuse of the first amendment by "news" people than by forces seeking to abrogate that right of the people.


vanillabirdies said...

i'm glad someone wrote about this...i certainly couldnt find the right words to.

I was out of the city yesterday visiting family in new jersey when a friend left me a frantic message hoping i was alright and that there had been a "fire" downtown...my friend goes to school upstate where the news channel is probably less watched than the porno.

The truth is the news channels are filled with "doggie doo"

Whether paid off, afraid, or just judgementally inferior we tend to get either large overblown stories..or tidbits.

Neither is particularly good.

But, this was a man who in my opinion was no ordinary "obviously sad man"

He proved himself to be a self made monster...(this is completely and only my opinion and no one else has to even believe it)

I'm leaving out all information I've heard on him and just leaving the basic fact.

He turned his attempted suicide into an outright attack on over ten other people. It's one thing to end your life, it's vastly another to take away others.

It wasn't the public's business to hear of it minute to minute.

But I'm not sure he deserves any recognition even in the neutral comment of being an "obviously sad man"

I'm sure he knew quite well what he was doing.

As for the news anchors...you are without a doubt right. We live in a time where paranoia, fear, and disinterest are vital in someone with a "heard voice's" life.

We live in a time of paris hilton's underwear, what is going up lindsay lohans nose..or coming out of her mouth, and the many FANTASTMAGORICAL qualities of george dubble duh bush.

Perhaps big brother IS watching.

...it would still be nice to know people on the news had spines.

Thanks for posting a really intelligent and unobstructed view

...its better than those wacky newsies do.

Jamie said...


Thank you. Yesterday was particularly egrigious as an example of news as entertainment. Usually I just sit fuming over things such as misused words and poor grammar while trying to avoid the tinsel mistaken for talent atmosphere.

There are still outlets for real news such as the BBC and some of the world papers. The sensational as news is starting to creep into our major newspapers.

Edward Copeland said...

They live for so-called "breaking news" labeling thing as such for hours after the news broke. What really gets me is when they go looney over the latest airport scare or mysterious package which always turns out to be nothing, but they keep the volume high regardless. My favorite recent example of this was the shooting in the congressional office building which never happened.

vanillabirdies said...

you're absolutely correct...and you're very welcome

i do however love that more people get shot in harlem or stabbed in the public school systems...and it goes unreported...

ding dong!

Sour Cherries said...

It was recently announced that Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed in Iraq by American forces.

George Washington met him at the Pearly Gates. He slapped him across the
face and yelled, "How dare you fight against the nation I helped conceive.

Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed!"

James Madison followed, kicked him in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson was next, he beat Zarqawi with a long cane and snarled, "It was evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."

The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the terrorist leader.

As Zarqawi lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Zarqawi wept and said, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said?"