Sunday, August 12, 2007

Breaking News has Broken - Time to Fix it

Television NEWS has been around as long as television itself. A recap of some of the day's more important and relevant events that have real impact on our lives. Does anybody even remember when my 2nd sentence was true? When exactly did the television NEWS make the transition from the New York Times to the National Enquirer? How are east coast viewers' lives impacted by video tapes of a house fire in Albuquerque, New Mexico or a maple tree uprooted by a storm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan? Duh, I answered my own question, VIDEO TAPE!

I have long held to the theory that music died on August 1, 1981. Sports took a sharp turn for the worst nearly 2 years earlier on September 7, 1979. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the specific dates when cable systems across the country launched MTV and ESPN. Music was forever relegated to background noise for the likes of the talentless Madonna and even more talentless Madonna imitators. Sports went from gladiator like titans competing on fields of honor to male cheerleaders prancing up and down like 3 year old girls who just got a Malibu Barbie for their birthday.

Television NEWS has adopted the same basic philosophy. Everything from "If it bleeds, it leads" to some sock puppet caught on a security camera trying to rob a convenience store with a super soaker full of warm lemonade. Your skyrocketing property taxes, the cost of cheese puffs and plans to repair our crumbling infrastructure are non issues as soon as video tape of a nude jogger with scrambled genitalia comes into the "Satellite Center" at Action NEWS Central. Why do NEWS watching adults criticize 7 year olds for acting like children, while they're rolling on the floor laughing their arses off as they cackle hysterically while watching video of a 350 pound doofus dressed in a clown suit as well as full make-up stuck in a heating duct as his ingenious master plan to rob a pizza shop went up in smoke?

Perhaps the worst abusers of television NEWS are the so called Cable NEWS Channels. The odds are overwhelming nowadays that whenever you tune in to CNN, MSNBC or as Keith Olbermann calls Fox NEWS, "FIXED NOISE" you are very likely to see BREAKING NEWS! splashed across your tv screen. This is, of course, designed to be the magnet to attract all of us with metal plates in our head, to go on full alert for some monumental event unraveling before our very eyes. Our brains start to conjure up all kinds of earth shattering possibilities at what this major "stop the presses" proclamation will be. We hold our breath and wonder if a horrific terrorist attack has taken place. Has a major world leader died? Has a bridge collapsed or was there a major gas explosion putting thousands of innocent people in mortal danger?

Here comes the announcement. It wasn't terrorism (except for a typical day at the office in Baghdad). No world leaders even have a sniffle (sigh). No gas explosions have blown up a city and no bridges are floating aimlessly down a river. So what is it? What cataclysmic event has transpired that will affect my life and the lives of my fellow citizens for years to come.....

Oh my God, it's FLUFFY! You all know Fluffy, Fred and Wilma Johnson's beloved house cat that somehow manged to get outside and climb nearly 30 feet up the majestic oak tree in Homer and Marge Wilson's front yard. Firefighters, EMT's, police, representatives from the mayor's office, a PETA investigator and FEMA agents called away from New Orleans are all on the ground monitoring the delicate rescue operation. It's been nearly 6 hours since the terrified Fluffy last sampled terra firma not to mention a can of delicious Fancy Feast Chunky Gourmet Turkey. The anchors promise to stay on top of the story until a final resolution has been reached. Six hours becomes ten hours and you can clearly see the strain on everybody. Tree climbing cat experts from all over the country have been brought into the studio to keep an apprehensive nation informed as to what steps are being taken on the scene. Finally the decision has been made, a rescue plan has been reached. Any moment this nightmare will come to what we hope will be a "live happily ever after" conclusion. We are now prepared to report that Fluffy is, BREAKING NEWS just in! Wait a second, what about Fluffy? Fluffy is? Fluffy is what???

"Wait a New York Minute" the anchors cry out. More BREAKING NEWS has just crossed the wires and a video feed at the scene as been linked up. It seems Paris Hilton is now prepared to officially announce her plans to run for President of the United States in 2020. Will Lohan be Vice President, Spears the Secretary of Defense, Nicole Ritchie as our Homeland Security Czar? You'll have to stay tuned for more BREAKING NEWS!

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