November 27, 2013

Remember Quality Journalism?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:23 pm

Watching the ABC TV news program on Tuesday November 26, 2013, it seemed like it was time to do yet another column about how Journalism is doing the Cheshire Cat disappearing act in the USA.  Their lead story was about the fact that a new snowstorm was snarling Thanksgiving Day traffic on the East Coast.  We just couldn’t picture Edward R. Murrow picking that weather item as being the lead story of the day.

Recently we have heard ads on KCBS, the all news all the time AM radio station in San Francisco, featuring the voices of some of their reporters.  We couldn’t imagine Murrow endorsing the idea of a journalist doing a commercial.  Isn’t that called “crossing the craft”?

ABC followed with a brief item about using birth control pills as a basis for yet another way to give the United States Supreme Court a second chance to veto the Obamacare legislation.

Where were the compassionate Christian conservatives when some Native Americans wanted a legal basis for declaring their use of peyote was a religious right?  Did any news organization do a sidebar story about the peyote dispute?

Some time ago, in Los Angeles, a man and a woman tried to establish a church that held that sex was a religious experience.  The police and the politicians teamed up to put a quick end to that issue using the laws against prostitution as a way of keeping society under strict control of the one percent.

Next, ABC ran a story saying that the Black Friday bargains might not be a real true bargain!  Stop the press!  There was a common saying (folk wisdom?) in Los Angeles that maintained there would be T-day weekend sales in Beverly Hills.  The punch line was:  “Yeah, everything will be marked down to retail price!”

Also on Tuesday, we encountered an axiom that advised that birds born in a cage thin k flying is an illness.  Do people who have read Ayn Rand and watch Fox News know who Murrow’s Boys were and what they did?

When Sunday night rolls around and folks head back home will the inevitable stories about the weekend box office take for the movie industry put the figures in context?  If a bargain matinee ticket in San Francisco cost about $8 and a film grosses $16,000,000 this weekend, does that mean that more people saw it than went to see “Gone With the Wind” on its first weekend of release?  If the price of admission soared to a half a buck and if (just for the sake of comparison) it did the same dollar amount of business its first weekend or release, wouldn’t that mean that 32 million people went and saw Rhett and Scarlet do their emoting?

A white Christmas in Australia would be a headline event because, since the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, the traditional way of celebrating Christmas down under is in your bathing suit on the beach (nice movie title?).

As we recall, on Thanksgiving Day in 1971, Scranton Pa. received 24 inches of snow.

Wasn’t that the same time that a guy, called D. B. Cooper, with a parachute and a bundle of money made headlines?

Are the reporters in the USA, who work on trend-spotting stories, just about to discover Parkour?  Can you do a story on that without mentioning some of the amazing stunts that Jackie Chan has done in his movies?  What?  You want a full explanation about what it is and how it works?  Can’t you look it up on the Internets?  Why do you think we are known affectionately as “the World’s Laziest Journalist”?

Maybe we should do a column that asks the question:  Who is getting shoddier treatment football players with concussions or wounded veterans?

Can a dedicated consumer buy his/her way to prosperity?

Recent news stories indicate that a majority of people don’t believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  Most of the stories about the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy quickly glossed over conspiracy theories related to the shooting and people think we’re a lazy journalist.

Carefully examining the reasons why the World’s Laziest Journalist considers being critical of American Journalism,  in a column for people who are busy contending with the best meal of the year, to be as futile as formulating a magic bullet explanation for pesky laws of physics and it just doesn’t seem like a reasonable use of time as the buying season approaches.

Aren’t Republicans very enthusiastic about sending troops into Syria and/or Iran?

Can it be that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the War in Afghanistan?  Will the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan, please turn out the lights?

The Republicans in Congress should officially adopt as their motto, a famous line from “Gone with the Wind:”  “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

Now, the disk jockey will play Jimmy Clanton’s “My Own True Love,” the Revels’ “Church Key,” and Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?”  We have to go buy some Christmas presents.  Have a “Only a few shopping days left” type week.

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