What it might have been like…

5 May

My employer recently installed televisions in all of the company’s break rooms. Personally, I could do without incessant television blather. Frankly, I can do without incessant anything. Except oxygen. I like incessant oxygen. Otherwise, enough is often enough for me. But, as my employer so often tells me, it isn’t all about me. So, we have televisions…

Sometimes people turn to the Food Channel and sometimes to ESPN, but mostly when you go into one of the break rooms, one of the news channels is on.

This has proven of interest during the past couple weeks when there has been a lot going on in the news: the tornadoes and all of the frightening devastation that came with them; those two crazy kids in the United Kingdom getting married to such fan fare–I swear it was like that movie Groundhog Day for those two. Every time I went into the break room that day, William and Kate were kissing. Again. Then, of course, there was the President releasing his long form birth certificate and, most recently the death of Osama Bin Laden.

That’s a lot to keep the 24 hour newscylists busy. Usually they have to run with one medium interest story for days on end. The past few weeks must have left them breathless. Of course, they can’t just cover the news, they have to bring in “the experts” to talk about the news as well. 24 hours is a lot of time to fill.

Yesterday I saw CNN officially hit the wall on the Bin Laden story when I went to brew myself some tea and the talking head on the TV screen actually said, “Coming up next, a former Navy Seal will tell us what it might have been like for the Navy Seals who raided Bin Laden’s compound.”

Seriously? Did she hear herself?  Some guy who used to do what they do will speculate–imagine if you will–what he thinks it might have been like at an event that he himself did not attend?

After the royal wedding did they bring in some woman who had gotten married before to tell us what it might have been like for Kate Middleton when she was walking down the aisle? Because that’s pretty much the same thing.

After those terrible storms, did they bring in  “some guy who has seen the movie Twister 14 times to tell us what it might have been like…?”

That would be straight up stupid.

I always feel like Grandpa Simpson when I say things like this, but I remember when there were only 3 networks. You wanted news, you waited until 6:30. Unless something big happened, like the President getting shot or someone landing on the moon, you didn’t see a news reader’s face until it was time for, well, the news. Then they only had 30 minutes to tell us about it, so they didn’t spend a lot of time with “experts” and other such nonsense. Walter Cronkite was on a schedule, dammit, and he knew how to stick to it.

And we liked it! (*Wheezes and the shuffles off to take a nap…*)

“The experts” really get me. How do I get a gig like that?  If you’re a former anything, you are now an expert in whatever field it is that you used to be in.

You know, sometimes people who are no longer in a profession aren’t there anymore because they weren’t very good at it. We don’t call people like that “experts” we call them “failures.” So why are we listening to them?

I once taught high school for one grueling academic year. Does that makes me an “expert” on secondary education? By the standards of the 24 hour news cycle, it just might.

I’ve lived through many Thursdays before, so I suppose that makes me an expert on Thursdays. I could spend some time, based on my vast experience, telling you what I think it might be like for all of you today as you attempt to navigate this particular Thursday. But instead, I’ll just let you be surprised.

Happy Thursday

One Response to “What it might have been like…”

  1. Mike May 6, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Couldn’t agree more. We have a couple of televisions in our break area and one is on news all the time. I don’t recall which channel since I don’t watch it but there is always some guy there announcing they are in the “situation room”.

    “Breaking news from here in the situation room, it is rumored but not confirmed that Prince William’s new bride actually colors her hair. Live on the scene in London is a former stylist who explains how that might have happened…….”

    I miss the days of Walter Cronkite myself. Thirty minutes at the appointed hour – of real news.

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