Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle On The Hudson

Image: NY Times
Oh the humanity! What stinking cheese on this morning's news shows. Miracle on the Hudson? Are you kidding me? How about: "Big Bird KO-ed By Mother Goose!" It doesn't quite educe the "tugging at your heartstrings" cozy feeling the media was spoon-feeding us this early eh-em, does it? And god knows we need something at least semi-warm.

Oh and, if you haven't somehow noticed that the temperature in Alaska is the same as in the panhandle of Florida, The Media will be sure to point out several times an hour, all day to-day and next week: IT'S GODDAMN COLD OUTSIDE. That's it; that's the news. We don't need to re-visit that tidbit until spring, basically when little birdies start waking me up at 0500 with their incessant, perky chirping (the bastards). People, it's winter. It's usually cold in winter. People huddle and shiver and lose body heat from uncovered extremes. Innocent Canadian geese fly seamlessly into jet engines (looking for warmth, perhaps?). Excrement happens. And then it freezes.

This is the issue I have with the 24-hour news cycle. Beating a dead horse into mini-patties to be served repeatedly and with impunity with a side of cheesy fries. And to buttress up the ad nauseam information, we get cutesy stories on re-decorating the private quarters of the White House, using shite from Target, Pier One, and Restoration Hardware. I actually watched in disbelief as some queer-eye-for-the-straight-guy pundit type expounded on the hip and cool virtues of buying crappy plywood furniture from Walmart for the Obamas' living quarters. Yea. I want my three minutes and twenty-eight seconds back.

Meanwhile, the war rages in Gaza with Israel "mistakenly" dropping bombs on a U.N. site; Zimbabwe's government (i.e. Mugabe) is kidnapping vocal opponents and torturing them; the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute enters its tenth day (you think YOU'RE cold? Try living in East Europe without heat right about now); Somalia is literally exploding from clashes between Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian troops; Latvia is unraveling from riots over its weak economy...yea, you get it.

And so I propose we draft a (perhaps) rudimentary, albeit frustrated open letter to The Media Powers That Be. Please feel free to add or subtract from it as you see fit. It could go something like this:

Dear Mr. American News Media Mogul or Corporation:

Please steal a page from the BBC/CBC playbooks and report on more diverse issues, particularly outside our borders. Even if most of your captive audience is not initially interested, you can actually use your outlet to educate it. For example, it would be helpful to include regional maps when covering events around the world. We Americans are not so strong in geography, you see. Due to that deficiency, sales of portable GPS tracking devices have quadrupled in the last year, but I digress. I sincerely hope you give the matter some grave thought.

Thanks much for your brief consideration. I await your response with held breath,
Joe Twelvepack

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