WHEN CNN News Channel’s Wolf Blitzer was a young boy, he was often ridiculed by other children because of his name. They would howl as he walked by them. It made him very sad. He cried and cried. You’ve probably heard the story about the little boy, Wolf, who cried.
Larry King has ended his long time reign on CNN as an interviewer of all manner of celebrities. I most enjoyed the one he did with Moses back in 1350 BC.
Barbara Walters was probably the first nationally recognized news woman on television. She hit the scene in a big way in the 1970s, and soon became a favorite target of comedy shows, with her distinctive way of speaking. The late and wonderful Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame was likely responsible as anyone for making Ba-Ba Wa-Wa a household name for young Americans.
Many of us remember television news personalities before such positions evolved into more glamorous roles. Walter Cronkite was all about getting us the news. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley gave us no-nonsense news. “Goodnight, Chet. Goodnight, David.” Howard K. Smith rounded out the big three networks frontline for news.
In the past forty years, television journalism has evolved, but not progressed. As a tool for providing real news, it has gone backwards. We are now fed an almost endless stream of chit chat news about gossipy subjects. But worse, the real news is mainly about “he said, then he said,” or “he said, then she said.”
There is little serious analysis of whether one politician was eighty percent right and one of them was eighty percent wrong in what each said. Instead, the theatrics of the debate are emphasized. Who got over with a snappy repartee has become the test of winning an argument.
Has news reporting become little more than a game of one-upsmanship? Have we just about squeezed all the real news out of the news? Let’s go watch a video on you tube of dogs who look like their owners.
NBC’s Brian Williams loves being on comedy shows. He loves cameos on Saturday Night Live, late night talk shows, and other such gigs. I cannot blame him. He’s accepted that entertainment and comedy are part of today’s news, even for network news anchors.
Do we need national news about people who are only famous for being famous? I would like national news to focus on national news. What is happening in Washington, D.C.? What is happening to U.S. interests in the world? What is happening with national weather? What is happening with the national economy? These subjects can fill an hour every day, but right now they don’t. They give way to tidbits of useless information intended only as entertainment while rendering real news the same status as a fuss on Judge Judy between a couple of former roommates.
© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore,
All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. firstname.lastname@example.org