Why we don’t watch the news

April 28, 2010

Very few people now watch the news.  Why? Several reasons I suspect but a few of them bother me.  Why is it that people adored and respected Walter Kronkite and Charles Kuralt?  When they spoke, America listened.  They weren’t that much better were they?  Voices more velvety, faces more symmetrical, punctuation more emphasized, diction more neutral? I know, I do, I do.  You know as well.  Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.

Toyota has recently come under fire, you may have heard.  It turns out that you can’t make perfect cars forever.  I’m not saying they make incredibly good-looking cars, *cough* Prelude *cough* but they make incredibly reliable cars.  They are allowed an issue or two.  In fact they aren’t the first with sudden acceleration issues.  Audi remembers.  Why is no one bringing that up?  Why hasn’t Toyota hired a washed-up football star with a bad haircut to talk about how bad Audi is?

I’ll digress again.  My dad is a history teacher, specifically North Carolina history.  Growing up, dad used to flash tidbits of information from time to time.  We drove across the state going on vacation or going to see family and he would mention a battle site or General’s name.  More importantly he would explain why it was important and how it changed things.  The year wasn’t terribly important, maybe to his class, but not to us.  He would explain what came from that particular moment in history.  This was perfect, not just spouting information but giving me the bits that would make me interested.

Once again, I digress.  The University of Leeds has done a scientific study.  I’ll skip the worthless crap and jump to the conclusion.  If you walk on the breezy side of the street, there is less air pollution.  Even more, if you walk on a street that doesn’t have a lot of traffic,  fewer still.  AMAZING.  In breaking news, if I hit my hand with a hammer it will hurt, and gravity only works in one direction.

Finally, President Obama, or one of his people, recently tweeted that he was disappointed in Republicans for not allowing a vote on Wall St. reform.  Why? They weren’t included in the discussions.  I wouldn’t want to vote on something that I knew nothing about and had no input in.  But Obama left that out, maybe because he was limited to 140 characters.  He should come up with legislation for twitter.

What does any of this have to do with news anchors?  Everything. 1) News isn’t about one sided presentations that only provide half of the facts.  Toyota is better than Chevy. Period.  Go home Howie Long. 2) News isn’t about just the reporting of facts.  I want to know how it affects me and what I can do with the information.  3) Stop telling me what everyone already knows.  It is mind numbing to listen to cheesy broadcasts talking about how the rain made road conditions wet.  4) Give me both sides of the information.  Not Glenn Beck’s reality or Keith Olberman’s spin.   And stop recruiting anchors from hair ads, I don’t care what the anchors look like, that’s why you hire hot weather girls anyway.

New programs are crap because the anchors aren’t credible.  Present information in a manner that gives some sort of opportunity to form an opinion.  Then we can start to listen again.  If that doesn’t work, broadcast it on the sidebars on Facebook.

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