Archive | June 26, 2009

Breaking News = Broken News

OK, Michael Jackson is dead, very sad – but Jesus Christ! Last night virtually every single news program was entirely devoted to hours and hours and hours of what was essentially, given the relative paucity of details, a five-minute story. Endless footage of people milling around outside Jackson’s home with nothing happening, combined with endless footage of the outside of the medical center containing his body, as overvoices intoned endlessly that yes, he is dead, and no, we don’t yet know much about why he died or who found him or whether there were drugs involved or who will get custody of his kids, and yes, he is still dead – all while a big red sign declares, hour after hour, “BREAKING NEWS,” a phrase which has long since lost all meaning.

Why has this story pushed all other news aside? I mean, they’re treating it like it’s 9/11 or something. (I’ll bet Mark Sanford wishes that Jackson had died a few days earlier ….) I couldn’t find a single reference to events in Iran, for example, on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNN-HL, PBS, or FOX. And with my home computer currently on the fritz I was stuck with tv. Thank God for BBC News, which finally provided me with some actual news.

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