I worked most of the day on my soon-to-be overdue novel. During my breaks I tried to find updates on Ted Kennedy's situation. But between car racing, horse racing, drag racing, motocross racing, baseball, gardening shows, cooking shows, reality shows and various religious quacks picking the pockets of the gullible, it was impossible to find any news.
I got desperate enough to try Headline News. Upfront let me say that I've never thought much of Turner's operation. To me it's nothing more than the largest local news operation in the country. And not Class A local news such as you see in New York or LA. Given the writing, the news readers and amateurish lighting, it's like a local news operation in a town of a quarter million.
So be it, it could give me an update, right?
Well, not so's you'd notice.
On a day when you have Kennedy in the hospital, the generals in Myanmar ripping children out of the hands of the monks trying to feed them, a major poll showing that the majoiry of white people in Tennesse are quite open about never voting for a person of color and three videotapes showing up that prove thay Bush is lying about not playing golf after a certain date...what's the lead story?
I've never seen this guy before but he reminds me of the guy that the old National Lampoon had in every parody High Schoool Yearbook (took him many years to graduate)...Rocco Vaselino.
That's who this schmuck looks like. (I didn't catch his name.) A guy who'd kill your wheelchair-bound gradma for a couple of bucks. Even at the current exchange rate.
And what's he lead with...some minister getting busted for contacting a thirteen year old girl on line and wooing her to a rendezvous. The gilr turned out to be a cop of course.
So what are Rocco's first words at fade in--
It's sickening enough (or somesuch) when a (regular guy) molests young people but when a man of the cloth does it, it's doubly bad.
Who can dispute that? And yes it is sickening. Of course.
But A) Should it be the lead story? Maybve third or fouth but the LEAD? And B) Does he need to editorialize? Can't he just tell us that a minister in Plano, Texas was arrested today when etc etc We know it's sickening. EVERYBODY knows it's sickening.
What's going on here is that the whole CNN operation but especially Headline News has become Fox Lite. Since MSNBC has become centrist (or left of center if you if you happen to believe that General Petraeus DIDN'T betray us) the failing CNN had to do something fast. And since everything they came up with was laughable they went to the pit bull school of news yak.
Look CNN, the Fox news guys cannot be duplicated. Sean Hannity, for instance. You can shove a drinking straw into his ear and pull it out the other side. Now those kind of guys are hard to come by.
Or Shemp Smith. He comes off like a lap dog pining to be petted. I'll bet he was in high school even longer than Rocco Vaselino.
Or all the gun-totin' hard-ass news babes who have apparently been made up by a nineteenth century bordello madame. These gals would probably chop up granny for just a buck and some change.
Or Bill O'Reilly? Where short of a violent ward are you going to find your own Bill O'Reilly? Mussolini didn't have an ego as big as Billo's.
So please, CNN. Sure you were boring and third-rate but you were nice. Can't you go back to being nice again? Do we have an over-abduance of nice in the world? I don't think so.
But I know better. You'll just keep on getting nastier.
And one night I'll turn on Larry King and he'll be talking to Sally Fields and saying, "So, ho, how many threesomes have you pulled in your life?"