I would like nothing more than to ignore TV news, but because writing and commentating about it is what I do, and because one cannot ignore what goes on around one, we, I, cannot afford to do that. So I keep watching. Being uninformed is not an option. Being misinformed by those who report the news is worse.
Day after day, I cringe as I watch and listen to what passes for reporting and how it is reported. Every so often, a rant is in order. Today is one of those every-so-oftens. Most of the quotes below are my own creations in order to to make a point… but you’ll have to admit, they’re not far off.
Dear News Programs,
Please refrain from:
- Creating “click bait” headlines (in this case, clicking on one’s remote control) to garner ratings instead of, you know, accurately reporting actual news (which is scary enough all on its own): Stop with the dire “Who is really iWatching you?!” chyrons, and premature ones like, “Hillary! Who can stop her?!” The voters can, but that would ruin all those meaningless poll and horse race stories. “Hillary’s numbers have dropped! Who will be the Democratic nominee in ’16 now?!” We didn’t know who the 2016 nominee would be yesterday, for f’sake. And we didn’t know in 2013. Or on November 7, 2012. Here’s an idea: Stop speculating on presidential elections four (and eight) years before they take place.
- Using the phrase “a bit” when you mean “huge”: “Ray Rice has a bit of a temper.” “The Republican Party has a bit of a woman voter problem.” And the news media has “a bit” of a quality control problem.
- Making crises into movie trailers, including ominous music stings and dramatic graphics: “ISIS at our borders?? Americans ready to take up arms to protect the homeland!” “ISIS beheading: Who’s next?!!” “Searching for Justice! Can Ferguson survive?!” Newsflash, news