The Other McCain speaks for the rest of us in the too-frequently-nauseated portion of the Nation after days of emotionalism, bloviating nonsense, and crass exploitation of the Newtown murders by the lamebrain media.
Special coverage of Our Nation’s Tragedy will continue, right after these advertisements for laxatives and car insurance.”
Networks pay millions of dollars a year for the services of news anchors who can pretend that what they’re doing is anything other than a carnival sideshow to sell the advertiser’s product. News for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Read — these lucrative televised spectacles inspire less cynical scoffing than they deserve. Nothing like a national tragedy to boost ratings, after all, and you know full well that the correspondent now peering grimly into the camera will be chuckling merrily with his colleagues as soon as the Breaking News Update is over. And why shouldn’t he chuckle? He’s getting paid handsomely to report this tragedy, and charges his travel expenses on the company AmEx card.
People who say they hate “the media” usually mean they hate TV news, a hatred shared by those of us whose medium is the written word. ...
TV sucks, it is by its very nature an anti-intellectual enterprise, anathemic to rational discourse.
My problem is that watching this stuff — or at least having the TV in the room tuned to cable news while I’m typing, so that the chatter goes on, even though I seldom actually watch it — is more or less a professional obligation. Every blogger is a media critic of sorts, although in the hyperpartisanship of the Obama Age, liberal bloggers only criticize Fox News, whereas we conservatives are expected to aim at Liberal Bias.
News flash: Fox News sucks, too.
Even without liberal bias, TV news sucks. For a couple hours today, I suffered through Fox News Channel’s lachrymose coverage of Our Nation’s Tragedy, until the goopy emotionalism became too much and I switched the channel over to MSNBC — I Watch, So You Don’t Have To™ — because I’ve met Bill Hemmer, I like Bill Hemmer, and I didn’t enjoy my embarrassment at Bill Hemmer’s participation in this Plastic Grief Festival.
Change the channel and hate those MSNBC guys. It just feels better to hate them than to wriggle with psychic discomfort watching Fox.
TV is very much about emotion, and the show-biz aspect requires that the performers attempt to exemplify the appropriate mood, conveying by their expressions and posture and tone of voice how we’re supposed to feel about what is being reported. When they’re reporting mass murder, the anchors and correspondents and commentators are required to convey compassion as if they’ve got a monopoly on caring.
This display of empathy is annoying to any reasonably intelligent viewer, who understands that he is watching a performance, and that the people putting on this show are doing so because they are paid for it.
Chuck Todd and Chris Jansing don’t care more about shooting victims than you do. They’re just getting paid to act like they care more than you do. This is show business, after all.
Today is Tuesday, and the great minds that offer several times an hour solutions to all our country’s problems have yet to inform those of us in the viewing audience why Adam Lanza wanted to take out his personal aggressions on first-grade school children.
The media pretends to offer rational commentary, but what it really delivers is uncritical popular culture at the lowest common denominator level. News readers command high salaries, and obviously think that they deservedly occupy prominent positions of grave responsibility, but they get their jobs on the basis of having an agreeable voice, a symmetrical face, or a becoming chin. They are typically embarrassingly ill-informed and their customary perspective on behavior and emotional display is objectionable and vulgar in the extreme.