Yesterday afternoon the big three networks had their newsrooms buzzing with two major stories. The first was the local flooding of neighborhoods in Queens, upstate NY and NJ. The second was the horror of a crazed gunman killing dozens of students at Virginia Tech University.
In the two hours of primetime news I watched, about an hour and a half was dedicated to these two truly tragic events.
Now, I understand it is the job of network â€œnewsâ€ to report the goings on in our nation, but there is a very broad, very distinctive line between reporting breaking news and stretching out an event until it becomes a sideshow carnival routine designed to emotionally manipulate the masses.
What I witnessed on television last night was the latter. There was no dissemination of information; there was no reporting of facts. There was only sick spectacle, shock and awe. It was a morbid, modern P.T. Barnum extravaganza: perverted and nauseating.
As my tummy lay churning I witnessed a commercial for that nightâ€™s Nightline on ABC, which was to be dedicated exclusively to the after effects of the Virginia Tech shootings. The after effects? This was only three hours after the whole ordeal occurred!
Also, throughout their â€œnewsâ€ coverage, ABC used scary music and slick graphics while their talking heads repeated the same nugget of information 37 different ways. One graphic they used was that of a view through a rifleâ€™s scope. It made me physically ill.
On Another Note:
In â€œreportingâ€ the damage done by flooding in Queens a soulless reporter led an elderly lady in listing everything she had lost. He kept goading her, â€œI bet thatâ€™s hard on you.â€ â€œHow will you ever recover from thisâ€, until the poor old bat burst into tears. Then the producer of the piece held a close up of her crying for almost ten seconds!
Cut to the studio: The hairpiece saddled "newsman" gazes into the camera with smarmy sympathy and fake gravitas with his dead eyes, â€œsoulless eyes, like a dolls eyes!â€(Yes, that is a Jaws reference. Youâ€™re welcome.)
Heâ€™s there to let us know that itâ€™s okay to feel bad. That, and to remind us that the â€œnewsâ€ is being brought to us by the drug LIPITOR. Just in case we missed the shameless plug, they made sure to plaster a big olâ€™ LIPITOR graphic right on the screen. God bless corporate America!
There are NO ethics anymore when it comes to responsible journalism. Itâ€™s all about sensationalism and fear mongering, â€˜cause God forbid NBC loses one more viewer to CNN! Whatever happened to accurate reporting using facts?
Today, the facts of a story are secondary to slick production values and the repitition of sponsored logos on the screen. But hey, when homogenizing the news and brainwashing a population with â€œinfotainmentâ€ every dollar counts.
Finally the news ended and Jeopardy came on. Gosh, I love that Alec Trebeck. Yet still, somewhere down deep- I felt dirty, I felt victimized, yet at the same time there was something elseâ€¦guilt.
I Felt guilty because even though I was morally outraged and physically disgusted at no point did I do what I had known what was right. At no point did I act like a responsible member of an intelligent society.
At no point did I just turn the goddamned news off.
WORLD - AN EDGE IN MY VOICE
Copyright © 2010 Venditto
Network News- Monstrous Whores or merely Hookers with Hearts
Copyright © 2010 Venditto
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