TV News (Still) Stinks!

Anybody who proclaims to be a news junkie has plenty of reasons to be disgusted these days. Instead of accurately showing and telling us what is going on in not only our own community but the entire world, the 24-hour landscape is filled with talking heads reading the daily talking points along with pseudo-stories that would be better suited for the National Enquirer and People Magazine. Any time left over is devoted to celebrity over-hype, from Tom Cruise and his non-existent baby to reality television “stars” who should have disappeared the moment their show signed off for the last time.
In the coming weeks, the landscape is only going to get worse. CBS is basically just giving up, going for fake perkiness in the form of Katie Couric than the always reliable but not-as-good-looking Bob Shieffer. Locally, there’s a bit of a mass exodus from our local news programs…and I’m not just talking about the ventriloquist’s dummy accepting a job with the Mayor.
In the past two weeks, two news stories (one local, one national) has showcased the vast wasteland of the current business of deliver news.
Nationally, it was the strange case of John Karr. When the publicity-driven Colorado prosecutor announced the discovery of this lunatic, the cable news channels went into overdrive. In fact, I believe Nancy Grace may have had her first real one, if you know what I mean.
Everybody on television proclaimed this man as guilty before they even laid their eyes on him. Yet if anybody read the print stories surrounding this goofball, it was pretty clear that it was unlikely that John Karr had anything to do with the death of Jon Benet Ramsey.
It was pretty disheartening watching the so-called news that dominated the television. Rumor after rumor was reported as fact, and expert after expert were convinced he was the killer. Yet nobody asked any real questions. When everybody was up in arms over his so-called extravagant plane trip, was anybody asked about the necessity of keeping him out of the general traveler population, or whether the nice meal he was served was an interrogation method? Hell, no. It was easier just to have Ms. Grace and her ilk bitch and moan.
Even the entertainment news shows went into overdrive on this story. Entertainment Tonight even had one of their fluffheads ask “stars” their opinion on Carr’s dinner. Why should their opinion matter?
It’s now been discovered that Carr’s DNA does not match what was found on the scene of the crime. I suppose now we’ll get two more weeks of analysis of this piece of news.
On the local front, we’ve been overloaded with stories regarding the planned execution of Elijah Page. Over the last few days, all three of our TV news channels have run story after story. I guess nothing else has happened in Hudsonland.
Not that the local daily paper is any better. The front page has been dominated by the same story day after day. Yet even as Tuesday’s paper continued that trend, political columnist Dave Kranz was forced to admit that this was not a topic that was garnering much chatter.
Of course, the repeated stories of the crime Page admitted to committing and its effect on everybody involved in the story became moot Tuesday evening as Governor Mike Rounds halted the execution just hours before it was scheduled to be performed. After Rounds’ rambling, almost nonsensical press conference (the only worse speaker present was a certain KELO “reporter” who asked the first question), the local channels went almost non-stop on related stories. Some of these were necessary, but after the first couple I moved on to one of Maury Povich’s patented babydaddy episodes. I had had enough.
Although I’m personally against the death penalty, it is the current law of the land. I think I speak for many people in saying that the amount of newspaper space and airtime devoted to Page could have been cut by 90%. Certainly Rounds’ explanation could have been whittled down to a couple of sentences.
But who am I to talk? I just took 10 paragraphs to carry on a theme that I’ve had for years – TV news sucks!


Anonymous said…
Other than Jodi Schwann, who else has left the local news scene lately? I haven't been watching much lately so I'm kinda out of the loop.
Anonymous said…
the other night i saw a death penalty story followed by a make a wish kid story. what if a make a wish kid's wish was to push the plunger to execute mr page? now there's a story!
Anonymous said…
Doug Lund and Jessica Hopkins are leaving. The Jessica one is weird. After the 10 PM news on Sunday, as they were rolling credits, she says, 'Ah, this was my last broadcast, I'm moving to MINN.' then a bunch of silence. Very strange.
Anonymous said…
Brittany Benner, the KSFY Aberdeen bureau reporter, has taken a job in Tampa, Florida.

Jenn Dombrowski is leaving KDLT at the end of November.

KDLT weekend weather geek Josh Stone left about a month ago.

Nate Welch moved across town from KDLT to KSFY.
Anonymous said…
This, Scott, is why I don't watch the local news -- or really, any news.

I'd rather get my news from a more reputable source, like the Argus Leader.

..wait a minute...
Anonymous said…
Oh yea, I forgot about Lund. Jessica Hopkins AND Jenn Dombrowski are leaving? Seriously? That sucks, they were the only two reasons I watched local news at all (call me a pig, if you will).

I hate change.
Anonymous said…
It's John Karr, idiot. With a K.
For someone who hates TV news so much, you sure watch a lot of it.
Anonymous said…
I guess they are letting John use the internets in jail . . . surprised he had time to blog with all that juicy kiddie porn to look up.
Anonymous said…
That weasel doesn't deserve to have his name spelled right. I thought it was done on purpose.

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