Twenty-four news has been in the news recently. Not really; It’s just that the other day, my Grouch e-mailbag got filled, which is to say that I got an actual request in my “About” tab to grouse about something. When I say “just the other day,” I mean since the day I started my blog. I don’t check often, quite obviously. The request, from heylookawriterfellow, was to bitch talk about 24-hour news channels.
Now I had not considered this topic and it was not on my radar screen but, being a Curmudgeon-at-Large who professes the ability to grouse about anything at will, I steeled myself up to the task. I underwent heavy medication, slept on a horse-hair blanket in the middle of summer, drank vinegar straight, chewed on a few nails, hit myself a few times with a ball-peen hammer and I was rip-raring to go.
Whenever I need to, I can listen to an all-news, all-the-time radio station and have to admit that I like it. At set times within any half-hour segment, I know that I will get an update on traffic, weather, sports and business, with other newsworthy items interspersed. Twenty four hour television news channels are another kettle of fish entirely.
What determines what is newsworthy and how often and how long we should hear about it? Now, of course, certain events, like the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Hurricane Katrina and major earthquakes rightfully take and hold center stage for a long period of time. But what about all the rest of our not-so-worldly events? Over that last week, I am certain that an unexplained death has taken place in Moscow (population 11.8 million), a beating in Shanghai (population 17.8 million), and a robbery in New York City (population 8.2 million). Is that news and do you care? Well, if you’re the person(s) directly involved or affected, sure you care but is it newsworthy and do we need to hear about it just to fill the hours of a twenty-four hour news station?
In the last week, an 83 year old woman got attacked by a rabid beaver while swimming in a lake near a metropolitan area. The event made national news! I’m sure that this item is not going to change the course of world events although it may change the beaver population on this particular lake. Are we that desperate for any news whatsoever? Guess so.
What irks me even more that the thought of twenty-four news channels is the talking yelling heads of public affairs programs that now fill air-time. Shows like the McLaughlin Group make me apoplectic. The basic premise is to start screaming in response to a question by the moderator ringmaster until you have shouted down the other panelists circus animals. Now if one of these panelists became rabid and bit the others, THAT would be newsworthy!
Perhaps the concept could be enlarged to liven up twenty-four hour news – a combination of news items, family feud and WWF Smackdown. News anchors would report the news while screaming at each other and breaking chairs over each others’ heads in front of a live audience.
Ah for the good old days, when all the news I needed was delivered once a week by pony express.
There’s a fine line between “breakin’ news” and “broken news” these days. It just might be a faulty spell-checker. What else could it be?
Accurate spell checkers, like good editors, are in short supply.
This is a comment on Alien Probing article which is so good, I wish I would have written it. Every line a gem. I wanted to comment under the article, but my computer kept shutting down when I tried. Could it be that the probers don’t want their secrets revealed? Take care, Mr. Curmudgeon. You don’t want the aliens to ass-assinate you! Laughing with you this morning. HF
Thank you. High praise from someone whose writing and humor I enjoy thoroughly.
I am sure that, by writing this expose, I will suffer in the end.
We’ve got to end this. Let’s put it behind us and move forward. Yep, put it in our rear view mirror and move on. Holy Cow! I can’t stop! HF
Oh, [groaning sounds]. Yes, it becomes addictive.
How did we go from a rant about 24-hour news to beaver comments? Personally, I like a good beaver. Oops, let me correct that. Personally, I like a good beaver story. Wait. I mean I like a beaver story that is good. Nothing nastier than a rabid beaver. Wait. I get it now. When we were done with the 24-hour new channel rant, we decided to Leave it to Beaver! HF
I see that you have been busy-as-a-beaver in responding.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t beat you at the pun game! Wasn’t it a beaver that attacked Jimmy Carter? HF
No, I give you the upper hand on this one.
I believe it was an “attack rabbit” that went after Jimmy but it may have been a beaver wearing a rabbit coat disguise.
That’s right! A rabbit! HF
I wonder what the Animal News channel has to say about the Beaver story. I hope they got the beaver’s side of the story. Did the beaver make a getaway, or not? Was the beaver really rabid? I bet no one bothered to get the full story.
No one interviewed the beaver.
It’s not the 24-hour news that bothers me so much but rather the fact that the stories are repeated ad nauseum. For example, hearing about a rabid beaver is fun once. Hearing about it forty times is not. Unless, perhaps, you’re a beaver.
I’m guessing that even the beavers get tired of hearing about it.
Okay, CaL, this was damn funny! I especially liked the bit about you sleeping on the horse hair blanket in the middle of summer. I had no idea that you went to such measures to get your grouse on, I just figured you were a natural born complainer.
On Fox News they have a ticker tape that runs along the bottom of the TV screen announcing “BREAKING NEWS!” every hour. It’s usually disappointing. I’m at the point that I actually hope for, and look forward to, global disasters and major tragedies so that Fox will have something to air on this hourly segment. I know, it’s a little twisted.
I add the horse blanket to get from normal grouchy to extra-strength grouchy.
Wouldn’t it be funny to have the ticker say “No Breaking News” when they have nothing to report?
haha! Extra-strength grouchy! Of course!
Every once in awhile they do have something important. So, in psychological terms, they have me on a random/intermittent schedule. Now I feel a need to watch the “news” 24/7, lest I miss something juicy.
Trust me, I would LOVE it if they had “No Breaking News.”
I have to admit the rabid beaver is the kind of news I appreciate. Where’s the 24-hour-rabid-beaver station? I can’t believe it hasn’t been done.
You are the second person to ask for “rabid beaver news.” A whole new phenomenon has started.
Well done, Curmudgeon!
To be perfectly honest, however, the rabid beaver story seems like it was designed for me. That’s real news, buddy!
The search for rabid beavers is on.