Friday, April 8, 2011

It started off innocently enough. Commercials for the local news stopped offering real news, instead reeling off teasers about what they were covering on their evening newscast. "Sadness in the entertainment world as a legend dies," they declared.

"Accident shuts down major freeway," they announced.

"Local business calls it quits," they said. "Have you just lost your job?"

This confused me. I mean, these were allegedly news people, right? Their job is to spread the news. Couldn't they have given us an actual detail in the same amount of time?

Over time they got bolder, realizing major sizzle got curious people to tune in. "Are the chemicals in shoe leather making you lose all feeling in your feet?" they asked. "Is your toilet tissue slowly eating a hole in your butt?" "Is an ordinary household chemical turning your daughter into a nymphomaniac?"

I watched, like a sap, and the answers were No, No, and -- in an awkward exchange -- No, she's probably just copying you.

After that, I steadfastly ignored their taunts, no matter how important they sounded, but it seemed like they started ramping up the danger to force me to tune in. The intent was crystal clear: the information they were withholding could pose an immediate threat to my life.

"A deadly animal is on the loose," they declared. "Should you be standing by your door with a big stick? Tune in tonight to find out."

"Fire races out of control in one of the five boroughs," they announced. "Should you be running outside in your underwear?"

"Are zombies terrorizing Manhattan?" they asked. "You might want to keep gas and matches nearby after you hear this!"

None of these warnings ever amounted to anything, so eventually I wrote them off. But one day I know they won't be crying wolf, and I won't be paying attention. It pisses me off: I miss actual news people, and I'm insulted that these idiots pretend they're something more than capitalist tools designed to make me buy Tide.

I'm tempted to phone them anonymously. "Somebody who's fed up with news-bulletin bullshit is standing in front of a TV station, waiting to punch a news anchor in the face," I'd say. "Could it be you? Find out tonight."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Truly, you speak for all of us.