Friday, August 18, 2006

---The Problem With the News 

News media has collective-ADD!!!

I’m beginning to see the problem here----I’ll just call it C-ADD. About a week ago, I watched in horror as Fox News reporters in northern Israel became so bored with waiting for the IDF to launch its much-anticipated upgraded assault into Lebanon that they began to interview each other.
[None of the other TV/Cable news services were doing any better.]
Now the pack has run to the next interesting smell, yapping non-stop 24/7 drivel into their microphones about a celebrated murder case for several days, finally exonerating the family they had knowingly pronounced unquestionably guilty for the last ten years, before having a collective “waaddaminit” moment when it started to become clear that virtually nothing about “confession” of the newly-obviously-guilty “suspect” had been even superficially checked before they started ragging on it. That didn't stop one journalist from reading the vomitous "poetry" of the newly-obviously-guilty "suspect" on the air---which I was forced to hear part of, in accordance with Robinson's Inverse Square Law of Television Programming*. They are now only slowly shaking the cobwebs out of their collective AP-driven consciousness and drifting off to some other stuff that’s incidentally going on in the world.
There is a serious, inherent problem with the 24-hour news “model”---It requires someone to be saying something somewhere, constantly, 24 hours a day, with only brief pauses for commercials, even if there is nothing of any value to say, which unfortunately is the case most of the time. “News bloggers” may be amateurs, but at least they’re unlikely to make the available news commentary worse.

*Robinson's Inverse Square Law of Television Programming:
The quality of televised programming declines as the square of the distance of the viewer from any possible means of controlling the television receiver.
That is: Q α1/dc2 , where Q is program quality, and dc is the distance from the viewer to any non-paranormal [eg. telekinetic] means of control of the television receiver. [ In the example above, I was in the kitchen, approximately 12 meters from the remote control, insuring that Q was so close to zero as to be considered negligible. I do not, evidently, possess any telekinetic powers.]

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