A teevee blaring in every public place

Some venues, figuring that ANY news is controversial these days, have opted for HGTV.

Jaquandor wants to know:

What do you think of the trend today for a teevee blaring news to be present in nearly every public or open-to-the-public space there is nowadays? Every doctor waiting room, every super market cafe, even some of our favorite restaurants — teevees in all, and they are ALWAYS set to either CNN or FOX News. This bugs me. How about you?

Well, yes, it’s true that the phenomenon has grown. There was a time, particularly in airports, when the default network was CNN, because it was “neutral.” But now, it’s more often FOX. And I ALWAYS remember.

Nice diner in Catskill, about 45 miles south of here – FOX News. The Burger King in the same town – FOX News.

The Bible Guys breakfast in Albany at a local diner – FOX News. I wonder if the owners figured that, since we were a religious-minded group, that FOX would be amenable to us; it was most assuredly not, and we asked them to turn it off.

FOX in the morning, BTW, is particularly awful, actually. I’m especially annoyed with that dumb blond – what’s his name, Doocy?

Some venues, figuring that ANY news is controversial these days, have opted for HGTV, the home and garden network, which I see it at my allergist’s office – and I have to wait 30 minutes AFTER my monthly shot.

So I see folks getting their homes renovated a LOT. I saw a couple recent articles explaining that not everything was as it seemed on air. Here’s a piece that will tell you more than you ever need to know about the network. I really got to dislike Christina and Tarek of Flip or Flop, especially him, but am actually sorry their marriage broke up.

There’s a pizza place in Albany that used to show the local news, but now airs movies, some of them not amenable with wanting to eat.

I went to a now-defunct barbershop near my house, and they were showing some shoot-em-up movie with vulgar language on DVR when children were present.

I wonder if they feel they need to compete with all the handheld devices their customers undoubtedly own.

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Continue reading “January rambling #1: Tower of Terror”

“The plane is missing. We still don’t know where it is. We’ll update you when we do.”

The media once again proves that line from reporter Jack Germond : “We’re not paid to say ‘I don’t know’ even when we don’t know.”

malaysia-airlinesMy daughter, who’s almost 10, was watching the news with me the other day when the story about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 came on. She is a compassionate person. Yet she winced, “Oh, no, not again.” She hasn’t done that with stories about GM recalls, or other multi-day stories.

Maybe it’s because the news outlets feel an obligation to cover it, but, far too often, they really don’t have a heck of a lot to SAY.

I saw on the local station WTEN (Channel 10) this week a news piece about singer Courtney Love’s theory about the flight – that it crashed – and about the number of Twitter retweets it got. I gently told my television set, “Please shut up.”

And if the local and national networks are bad, CNN is worse. The network has asked whether perhaps God stole the plane, if a black hole took the plane and whether a psychic had any insight. Yet an anonymous CNN executive praised the 24/7 station’s coverage. “It’s in our wheelhouse.” To which, as The Daily Kos noted, is totally correct:

Little actual information to be conveyed? Check. New “facts” constantly being trotted forth, only to be retracted as false a few hours or days later? We got that. Rampant uninformed speculation, often by people with absolutely eff-all expertise in anything remotely resembling the actual topic at hand? Oh yeah….

I subscribe to what Mark Evanier wrote recently, referring to Joe Brancatelli, his friend who covers the airline industry:

I’m not even sure we’re clear yet on what crime has been committed but yeah, Joe’s right about the lack of facts and more right about the shameless way the media once again proves that line from reporter Jack Germond that I quote here all the time: “We’re not paid to say ‘I don’t know’ even when we don’t know.”
I do think people expect real-life mysteries to be as “pat” as fictional ones and this expectation leads them to think they have something all figured out when they don’t.

Evanier, quoting MSBC’s Chris Hayes: People with zero evidence about what happened to that missing plane should stop using the situation to promote some fear-based agenda…

It’s not that I don’t care, or that I’m not interested, or fascinated. But it reminds me a bit of ABC News’ coverage when John Kennedy, Jr.’s plane went missing. They were on the air for seven hours straight, when a breaking news item, followed by regular updates would have been more appropriate, because, except to restate what they had already noted, there wasn’t much to say until the plane was found.

So I check the news once a day. Did they find the plane? No? Too bad. If I want to read all about it, the news websites will have more info. NBC News, for one, has spent less time on the Nightly News on the story, referring folks to its site. The New York Times article on why we are limited to options that flight crew can disable is important stuff.

Still, I’ll either check the TV news tomorrow or if something actually substantial DOES happen – they saw something well off the coast of Australia on Thursday – I’m sure I’ll get a notification on one of the news feeds to which I subscribe.