Why Do I Put Myself Through Such Misery?

Against my better judgment, I once again spent a few days watching local news broadcasts. Why do I constantly torture myself like that? I guess I’m a bit more of an optimist than most people may think, as I always hope and pray that maybe somebody out there may possibly be showcasing some integrity and innovation.
I will make one positive note. After years and years of bad lighting and camera work, KDLT has been treated to a makeover that’s a huge improvement. No longer do they look like a cable access; they just act like one.
After a week or so of viewing telecasts on all three channels, I have figured out the standard format of their news segment, aka the first three minutes of the telecast.
Unless there is some true breaking news, we start off the broadcast with a story on gas prices. (Hell, even if there is a hot story, we still quite often open with that story.) A few clems will complain about how ridiculous the prices are, or they’ll babble about how they now drive less. It’s really the same story you saw yesterday, the day before, and will inevitably also view tomorrow. What I find humorous is that anytime somebody talks about driving less, or saving money by driving hybrids or scooters, it has to be pointed out that the state loses tax dollars when people conserve.
Now, sometimes they are forced to cover a “real” story. Too bad even in those situations they’ll resort to clichés and tired formats. Take the case of the recent tragedy involving that house that blew up. Don’t get me wrong; I feel terrible for the family whose home and possessions are no longer. It’s just that whenever there is this kind of devastation, including damage caused by fire, flood, lightning, or wind, they just have to have that moment where they show the pictures that somehow managed to avoid destruction. We feel bad enough for the family that you don’t have to stoop to such lows.
With one news story out of the way, it’s now time for the weather…especially if there’s a dark cloud somewhere/anywhere in the state. Even if the forecast is perfect, somehow they’ll find a way to warn us about devastating storms that will cause us to spend the evening in the basement with a portable television to watch their marathon coverage.
If there is any hope for a storm, the next story will also be weather related. We may once again be told the difference between a watch and an advisory. Or we’ll be shown footage of a previous storm, particularly if it’s around the anniversary of a major storm. If that’s the case, expect a lot of self-serving memories about how “they” saved so many lives by staying on the air for so many hours. Yeah, right.
After the first round of weather and weather-related tales, it’s now time to give some props to their biggest pals in town – whichever hospital is footing the majority of the broadcast. This comes from a variety of different stories – from courageous tales of individuals fighting rare diseases to new technologies to the self-serving party that not only included awful, over-compensated music but also the unveiling of another T. Denny statue. No matter who or what the story is about, you can bet that not a bad word will be said about anybody affiliated with their pals.
Yet the product placement isn’t quite over. It’s now time for some sort of promo for somebody. At least once or twice a week, it’s a non-story to promote tourism. Yes, we know that tourism is important to the state. You don’t have to remind us so often. If it’s not tourism, it’s almost always a hidden promo for a car lot, or Lewis Drug. This week, it’s all about the fireworks stands. I do have a bit of advice for that story, though. If you really have to use the cliché, “business is booming”, it might be smart to get a shot or two that does give the appearance that the store you’re visiting is busy. A shot of a long aisle with only one or two customers just doesn’t quite convey that message.
After all of these phony stories, it’s now time to toss in a couple of real stories before you get to the important stuff – commercials and more weather. We get a couple of courthouse shots, especially this week with the sexual battery lawsuit involving that Mitchell school teacher, and a perp walk or two from recent drug busts. That’s about it, and it all seems like an afterthought. Shouldn’t these, and many others, be the stories that are highlighted and delivered with emotion rather than the human interest, weather, and product placement that almost brings tears to Ms..Kennecke’s eyes?


Anonymous said…
The only thing is...we don't even have a cable access channel alternative. I think Midcontinent should offer me, (for a couple extra bucks), a local cable access channel for men. The local news should consist of hot women with 38DD, 24, 36 figures providing the news. And they should wear swimsuits in the summer when delivering the news. And it should be a hospital/empire free cable channel. No more health segments or Sandy's Closet reports. And the alternative local news should offer alternative views to local stories - not edit stories in fear of losing advertising dollars from corporate sweatshops. And they should provide sports info, like: the summer winner of the Scarlet O'Hara's summer amateur night contest winners.
The entertainment shows should appeal to men, instead of the endless lineup of chick shows on the other stations. The South Dakota down-home gimic is wearing thin. Let Keloloser put the rest of the state population to sleep. Midcontinent owes me.

Scott said…
I'd watch that broadcast - hehe.
Anonymous said…
The following commentary doesn't have anything to do with local TV - or maybe it does. This is what they don't include in their analysis in the Republic of "Keloland", and other loser broadcasts. The following letter to Senator Thune:

After reading the July 3rd issue of the Argus, I was glad to see that Senator Thune has realistic solutions to rising oil prices. But for the Argus to print the ‘Gas Forum’ story on page 3 shows the lack of media comprehension of U.S. petroleum consumption. The ignorant cycle of misinformation takes it’s inception from a media that can’t comprehend the raw statistics for energy demand.
The reasons for rising gas prices are exactly what Republicans can use to show how Democrats and their media allies are obstructionists halting energy development. The left wing can’t handle the truth, which is why the Thune Senate bill can be used to publicly prove the left doesn’t have realistic solutions to rising energy costs.
The U.S. consumes $21 million barrels of oil daily. Or what could be described as $7.6 billion barrels per year. In 2008, 12.5 million barrels, (or 60% of total used daily) was imported into the U.S. The far left is unable to mentally comprehend the size of these numbers, and offer oil alternatives that realistically meet demand goals in either the near or long term future. The far left response to build more wind turbines and solar farms won’t make a significant offset for import dependency. And other energy alternatives are still in the research stages, with no guarantees of significant impact on national energy consumption or lower gasoline prices. The American landscape would need to be covered in solar panels and wind turbines to roll back oil import demand. And a majority of consumers can’t afford wind turbines or solar energy systems. Even Congress doesn’t have enough money to build alternative energy systems for the poor and middle class on a massive scale needed to offset rising national energy costs. Not to mention the time needed to build such an infrastructure of oil alternatives.
Annual oil consumption in America is so great, that even all of the energy initiatives in the Thune bill will simply help to hold down costs and meet current demand. Many liberals view the American demographic as a static populous. The best estimates project the American population will increase from 300 million to 400 million by the mid-21st century. Energy demands would increase by 25% along with the population influx. New refineries need to be built to meet future demand, ANWR needs to be drilled along with open coastal drilling on all coasts, and oil shale production needs to dramatically increase. All of these initiatives are needed to hold down gas prices from dramatic increases, and provide energy to meet the needs of an additional 100 million Americans added to the consumer demand market. The far left doesn’t have a coherent argument to dispute these facts, so it’s checkmate in the political arena. Even though drilling off the California and Florida coasts, and building refineries, are unpopular developments the American public still needs the progress if the economy is going to survive.

Grady said…
As long as Laura Muir is the one babbling about gas prices, and Jesse Ritka is trying her damnedest to give me the seven day weather outlook, I'll watch KDLT. There's always the mute button.
Anonymous said…
What I love is KDLT, when there is a story where the SWAT team is involved so they can extract a guy from the Nites Inn, they don't give you details on what the hell happened with the guy that was in the motel with a gun. No! They give you a story about what the Sioux Falls SWAT team does. A fire on the East side of town? You get a story about what the fire department does. What a joke!

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