Thursday, December 03, 2009

News or Entertainment?

This morning on the Today show they lead off with the couple who crashed the state dinner party, Tiger Woods, and the Jackson Brothers. It's strange, you know, because I thought WE ARE AT WAR! I realize that they can't show the serious stuff all the time but really, to lead off with those stories trivializes the struggles of the men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Am I wrong in thinking this way? Have I missed something along the way? When did the Today Show become an extension of Entertainment Tonight? For a society that is so focused on the media and instant access to the latest information about everything under the sun, it's really hard to find the news.

I listen to NPR (WYPR out of Baltimore) in the car on the way to and from work everyday and it has become my only real source for hard news. The fact that I have a 10 minute commute doesn't allow much time but I really do get more from those two 10 minutes sessions then I do for a whole half-hour of TV news or from our local newspaper. The paper focuses almost exclusively on local news with only one page devoted to world and national news. That's both on one page.

It seems that we can't handle the cold, hard facts anymore. We must be entertained or our attention wanders. I don't think it's really true but the media seems to think that we Americans have the attention span of a fruit fly and that if they don't wrap the facts in a sugary coating and then jamb them down our throats at the speed of light they'll lose us.

"Twenty-six people were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq yesterday...oh look, a chicken!"

Come on, do we really have NADD (national attention deficit disorder)?

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