What ever happened to TV news? You know, those trustworthy, distinguished, slowly graying Network gentlemen like Brokaw, Rather, and most especially Cronkite. Those were men that you trusted enough to let into your house every night, men that radiated professionalism and Journalism with a capital ‘J.’ They were men that you could watch while eating dinner without getting heartburn, no matter how terrible the story. They were men that wore ties. Cronkite was the anchor at CBS News for nearly twenty years, not once in all that time were his viewers ever exposed to his chest hair. That’s the real reason he was called “the most trusted man in
The next generation, the Cable News channel generation, wasn’t quite as good at the whole calm, slightly graying distinguished thing, they were a whole lot younger for one thing – and some of them were even women. In the 80’s and well into the 90’s, Cable News was news. Period. You wanted to know what was going on in the world? You watched CNN. If you didn’t have a lot of time, you watched CNN Headline News. People actually got cable just for CNN. Hell, Tom Clancy, in his novel The Hunt for Red October specifically mentioned that the book’s hero, Jack Ryan, had cable television installed in his house at Peregrine Cliffs just so he could watch CNN News. Everybody knew Tom was talking about himself, and if it was good enough for Tom, it was good enough for the rest of us. For ten years I got my news every day from Lynn Russell at CNN Headline News. She wasn’t any Walter Cronkite, she rolled her eyes when she was forced to report on somebody doing something stupid, she laughed out loud upon occasion, and she was much more human, and attractive, than those stodgy old men that had come before her. But, the news was never about her, she reported the story, she didn’t grandstand – in other words, she was a professional, and so were her fellow reporters, just like Cronkite had been before them. I trusted her, I would have let her in my house (you bet I would). CNN brought us the first Gulf War in 24 hour, real live streaming video as Coalition forces surged into Kuwait. The coverage by CNN actually had an impact on the course of the war; Saddam himself screamed and raged and watched CNN in his Palace as his shattered army retreated up the Highway of Death, dragging what was left of their sorry pillaging asses home. CNN was on the video walls in the White House and the Pentagon Situation Rooms. CNN was the best source of real time Military Intelligence. Generals watched CNN before making decisions. The CNN effect it was called.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Something changed in the mid 1990’s. I first realized that something was wrong, when in 1994 CNN went to full coverage on both channels to chase down OJ Simpson and his famous white Bronco. It’s not that they were reporting the chase, which was news; it’s that they were so dammed excited and gleeful about it. This for me was the first little sign of the coming insanity. But the first real major, full-blown, batshit crazy symptom came two years later, when the actual Simpson trial began, CNN covered the travesty 24 hours/7 days a week – if the court was recessed, then they got Larry King to interview some stoned Hollywood houseboy about the day’s events – at the exclusion of all else, up to and including some of the biggest news in the history of mankind. It was four days past the announcement by David McKay, that the possibility of life on Mars had been found in a meteorite called ALH84001, before CNN broke into its All OJ, All The Time programming to mention it in passing. Life on another world, some guy who maybe killed his ex-wife – hmmm, which one will history remember? Yah, OJ. And things just kept getting worse from there, right up to today where the faces of CNN are Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace. It’s exactly like watching someone you know and love descend into madness and acute incurable alcoholism. You have to wonder just what Time-Warner was thinking when they hired Grace (just a bit of Irony in that name). Honestly, I can not hear her voice, and NOT think of tractor-pulls, NASCAR, and cheap beer in plastic cups. Grace was a former lawyer; by most accounts, a shitty lawyer, prone to twisting facts and prone to shady courtroom practices – Insanity, stark staring, drooling, insanity is what it is. Exactly what demographic is CNN trying to reach with these two dancing monkeys?
Insanity, stark staring, drooling, insanity is what it is. Exactly what demographic is CNN trying to reach with these two dancing monkeys?
Is it just me? Seriously, am I the only one who thinks this is just plain bug-eating crazy? Do you trust these people, would you let them into your house? I sure as hell wouldn't, I keep a shotgun at hand just in case dangerous wildlife or people like this show up on my property unannounced. Is it just me who thinks that it is long past time for an intervention here? It’s time to get out the butterfly nets and the straightjackets. And ties, because I’m dammed sure sick and tired of seeing chest hair on CNN – and I’m talking to you, Nancy.