May 21, 2008 I made a post here in the HamWx blog about the death of Ted Kennedy. You can find that post here. If you do not remember the entry, you might want to give it a read before moving forward with this entry.
Media is again basking in the limelight of a passed celebrity (of sorts) and have all their picture montages and moving music cued. This morning as I fought a nasty case of self-induced insomnia (the kind where you have an idea and it takes off in your head and therefore can’t sleep – yeah, that kind), I was watching MSNBC coverage of Kennedy’s death. In the upper right on my screen was a live image of his home and in the lower left was a round-table of six commentators discussing and arguing Ted’s life and accomplishments. Now I’m not exactly sure what they expected to happen at that house at 5:30am edt but whatever it was, never did… In addition to the pretty media people I had never seen before in my life talking about Sen. Kennedy as if they were closely related, there was the news scroll at the bottom of my screen. This was some of the most obscure information on the planet. “Flags lowered to half-mast in Washington”; “Obama will likely take a break from his vacation to discuss Ted Kennedy’s passing”; “Kennedy was one of three brothers”; “The Kennedy’s have a long political involvement in Washington”…
Sure, this is news to people who live in caves and just got cable yesterday but for anyone with any intelligence, it’s sub-standard “news”.
I miss the days of when something important happened there would be a an interruption of programming and some scary music would play, a “BREAKING NEWS” graphic was displayed and Tom Brokaw would deliver some sort of devastating news. It was real news and was of national importance. He would say his piece and then return me to my regularly scheduled program to digest what had just been announced. Sure, there would be more coverage later on the evening news but there was no immersion, no round-table, no graphics, no live feeds of a body being transported, etc. etc.
Today, even at 4:30am cdt, I am surrounded by news. We all are. Everything is “breaking news” now and discerning truth from embellishment is becoming more and more difficult by the day. Give that some thought.
I have no idea why I am bothered by the news so much lately or why the death of Ted Kennedy sparked this rant. I do know it won’t be my last rant on the subject.