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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Do TV News People Care?

Not to be too sanctimonious, but watching the morning news, which I try to do most mornings, is pretty revolting. Here's the thing. I never believe, for even a second, that the "reporters" or whatever they are, actually care about anything they're talking about. I never even really believe they know what they're talking about. This morning, on CNN, Soledad O'Brien was interviewing the principal of the school in MN where the school shooting was and her, well, her interview technique was so lame. She jumped in with these "hard hitting" questions, that were inane, and the guy basically wouldn't answer, and it was as though she had no thoughts or ideas about how to draw him about, she just kept throwing these questions at him and when he'd say he didn't know, she'd say something else. I don't know. It just seemed really awful and, beyond that, totally uninforming.
The other thing I thought about this morning, watching the news, was this seemingly-endless trend toward "polls." How many Americanas think Terry Schiavo should be alive? How many think Congress is allowed to intervene? How many think Bush is mis-handling stuff? On the one hand, yes, it's good to know most people (by about 1 percent) don't really want Congress or the President intervening in things like this, but, on the other hand, what is the connection between doing those polls and journalism? How does it inform the journalism? Could the media, perhaps, find out that Americans barely understand why it's legally inappropriate for the exec. branch and Congress to do this and, thusly, explain it
My favorite story today was about Tom DeLay's speech to a conservative group recently, taped secretly by, I think, an organization that promotes the separation of State and Church (yes, there is allegedly such a concept), in which he talks about how Terry Schiavo's case has come from God to help conservatives make their case and then talks about how liberals are trying to take down religious people.
OK, on the local tip, a city water worker was caught with dope and whiskey; the price of gas has reached new highs (no shit, I almost fainted at the pump the other day) and good old W was here in NM yesterday stumping with John McCain on social security. According to an unbylined story in The New Mex the Democrats in NM's congressional delegation are not, as a result of the visit, going to change their minds about social security. Which, if I may be so bold as to assert, is pretty obvious and could have been said before Bush even got here. Politicians don't change their minds about partisan issues as a result of "town halls" which are, for the most part, PR events, not actual examples of civic dialogue for God's sakes. In a way, it would be great if politicians did change their minds more often. Oh, who am I kidding? It would be great to just see evidence that some of them had minds to change.
Hmm. Speaking of not changing one's mind, the City's Public Safety Committee is not, apparently, inclined to change the city's ban on cell phone use while driving. I'm not sure I've ever seen a law observed less in my life. Everyone talks on their freaking cell phone while driving. I've seen lawmakers do it. I've seen cops do it and, yes my friends, on occasion I've done it myself, although I try to just put the phone on speaker and have it in my lap. Look, you don't need both hands to drive an automatic car. That's part of the allure. You can smoke a cigarette, you can drink a soda, you can hold a phone. It'stotally arbitrary
Well, I guess I'm not in a super-great mood this morning. Maybe I should stop watching TV news first thing in the morning and start meditating instead. (Just had to check and make sure I'd written "meditating" and not "medicating."