Saturday, April 07, 2007

The MSM TV news...

Giving people what they want.

As I've said before, I don't think the "Evening News" has a responsibility to stuff its newscast with as much hard news as possible. We can get the news in a lot of places these days, and today's "Evening News" has every reason to experiment.

A willingness to shake free from the traditional nightly newscast formula can be a good thing, in fact – witness last week's cavalcade of cancer stories. The preponderance of animal stories this week, however, seems to fit with Neil Steinberg's argument that we are now seeing "the YouTube-ization of news."

That would be a movement towards news that favors arresting images over traditional stories; Steinberg warns that "we [could] wake up one day and Katie Couric is leading the 'CBS Evening News' with a video of a cat being set on fire.


Is that such a tragedy? Not necessarily. As CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras points out, "[p]eople love giant pandas," and the "Evening News" is simply giving them what they want – while also spending the majority of the broadcast on more serious news. Besides, it's not like the notion of showing cute animals on the news is new – a water skiing squirrel, for heaven's sake, made the news more than once back in the '80s and '90s.

If you want to give cute and cuddly pictures, there Thalia; sweater puppies are nice and soft and cuddly and inviting. You and Katie could give a nice audience appreciation appearance, and increase your cr@ppy ratings at the same time.

It's not like you actually report the *news*, or anything that isn't making a political talking point that might make people that you seriously.

---AND in other items not worth your prime time ...time, Prominent (and accurate) hurricane forecaster William Grey says the oceans will begin to cool over the next 5- 10 years. But nobody will notice because he's an ACTUAL meteorologist, not an over-hyped, pompous looser who's only accomplishment is putting warning labels on the albums of the people he's now brown-nosing.

So, ladies- the audience wants to see sweater puppies.

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