I remember the first bulletin I heard growing up…”We bring you a special report from CBS News…”President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas, Texas.” As a news story cutting into local programming it was a beaut. Appropriate. Sensational. History-changing. It truly defined the word, “bulletin” which means, “an official statement on a matter of public interest issued for immediate broadcast.” Over the years, we have had several breaking stories that lived up to their substantial impact on all of us…
These historical hits included, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy, the resignation of President Nixon, the Challenger explosion, the Oklahoma City bombing and the horror of 9/11. On a lesser note we had the Persian Gulf War and the attack on Iraq. Still lesser, the Manson murders, John Lennon’s murder and Renee Zellweger’s divorce making her a single woman again.
This last story affects me deeply as many of you know by now. I want her.
It is to my chagrin that local news in any metropolitan area has tried to duplicate these stunning stories by inventing “special reports” of their own. For example, “We break in to your regularly scheduled program (at this point I stop breathing fearing the worst!) to go to our special correspondent, Spongetta Schwartz, who is at a warehouse in east Los Angeles where a suspicious fire has broken out threatening six poodles caught inside. Spongetta? Are you there?” At this point a somber and sad-faced young woman is painfully contorting her face in anguish as she speaks slowly into her microphone, “Yes, Joel, I AM here. This is a tragedy that is unfolding right before our eyes. As you can see, (she dramatically looks behind her) the flames are shooting out of the building and it is only a matter of time before many of our Southland fast food places will have fresh meat for tomorrow’s lunch. These poodles have little hope of surviving and…”
This is not a breaking news story. This is not even a news story. But, throughout the day and night we are exposed to hyper journalism putting us on edge for the moment and at the same time making us cynical in the long run about ANY special report because the anchorman who cried wolf is no longer believable.
I believe a day will come when the bulletin will flash across our screen, “World War III has broken out in Iran! Millions have been killed by thermo nuclear weapons in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and all throughout the Middle East!”
I yawn as I flip the channel to, The Girls Next Door. Gosh, Hef is a lucky man!
A car chase involving the Highway Patrol and a moron is not a breaking story. An interview with the nephew of the brother of the cousin who gave steroids to Alex Rodriguez is not a breaking story. A two-passenger plane that makes a safe emergency landing in a Wal-Mart parking lot is not a breaking story. Where are all the responsible news editors? On a coffee break? The Bahamas? Who is dishing out these violations of common sense as they come flying into our consciousness like comets crashing idiotically into our lives?
We are supposed to trust the media to give us news. Important news. Impacting news. News that is worthy of attention. My generation survived the Cuban Missile crisis, murderous racial riots, Kent State, Watergate and the Vietnam War. Now, you expect us to run from our kitchen to TIVO a breaking story Britney Spears just bought PANTIES!
Please stop insulting our intelligence.
We deserve better.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here