Thursday, February 18, 2010

The 24 Hour News Cycle Can Officially Go to Hell

Today, a plane crashed into a building in Austin. Apparently, the guy who did it was disgruntled, or upset, at something. Whatever.

I no longer care. I just want to know the facts. The speculation makes us all dumber. This is one of the lessons learned about the media after 9/11. 24-hour news is a contradiction in terms, because there is really only about twenty minutes of news a day. Everything else goes something like this:

Reporter: Is it true that the man who crashed the plane into the building might have dressed up as a zombie and ate human flesh with his children?

Expert: Yes, it's entirely possible. And let's not forget the after-effects of eating human flesh, which has shown in lab rats to cause irritability and psychosis.

Reporter: If he indeed ate human flesh, and indeed suffered from irritability and psychosis, do you think that could have led to him crashing the plane into the building?

Expert: It's hard to say at this moment, but it very well could be at least one reason why he did it.

Hey, it's nothing new to criticize the 24-hour news cycle. But when I walk into a place and they're playing the news and I overhear all the stuff being analyzed and guessed-at, it reminds me of why I no longer watch the news. It's unfortunate that I can no longer trust the news, that even when they finally reach a conclusion and have dug up every detail they possibly can about an individual who has done a horrible thing, that you still can't take it as gospel.

Further making the 24-hour news cycle bleak are the revelations of the Columbine incident. The news reported one way, and then someone had to come out with a book explaining that all the things that we thought we knew about Columbine were absolutely wrong.

The same goes for the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War, seen as these great Scud-busting weapons of efficiency that in actuality hardly ever worked. Or the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein, a staged incident.

Can we start over? Do we have to put up with this?



At 2/19/2010 10:19:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

There are so many ways to go into this. What has really made me sick over the last couple of years are the news shows like Nancy Grace (If we can even call that news). Grace, for instance, will just pick a suspect for a child abcuction or murder or whatever and go after them. She could be right, but you have to think that the majority of the time she is not, and this poor sap is blasted all over the place for doing nothing except trying to find his kid or whoever the hell murdered his or her spouse. Not to mention, if she even is right the suspect has got a hell of a defense when it will be nearly impossible to get an unbiased jury. Disgusting.

And how is most of this speculation even legal? Freedom of the press only goes so far. Hence why terms like libel and malice exist. Still, in the digital era, once your name is out there it's out there no matter what kind of lawsuit or civil action you choose to invoke. I avoid news and supposed news shows as much as possible.

At 2/19/2010 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah those shows tip-toe the line. "Well, it's just an opinion...we're not stating it as fact." They use those broad strokes, asking a question instead of making a statement, that color the argument.


Post a Comment

<< Home