12 months ago
The News Tuesday: Sad Formula Made in America Nightly Network News Review
Here’s Chuck’s nightly blog, reviewing the evening network news broadcasts.
There’s a sad formula brewing at the network news outlets.
ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have already revealed their initial shock at the Newtown massacre.
The networks have also fueled the flames of fear. After all, in any news event, it is what they do best.
They’ve also all wallowed in sorrow. You know the anchors, reporters and producers are sad because the theme music has slowed down, they’re using their ‘sad’ voices, and the producers have portraits of the dead slowly fade from one to the next.
Finally, the networks — attempting to heal — ask, ‘What is to be done?’ The only answers our political leaders will give them — and, therefore, the only ones they’ll report — are gun control or more guns.
Is there another solution?
The networks don’t care. If it’s not a solution offered by the two major political parties, then it’s not a solution for the networks.
It’s all so predictable. Why? Because it’s happened so many times before.
The next massacre will be followed by the networks reporting shock, stoking fear, embracing sorrow, desperately trying to heal, while being given the same solutions by their advertisers.
It’s as predictable as the upcoming ABC ‘Made in America: Christmas’ special. Reporter David Muir will ambush Americans and see if they bought goods that were ‘Made in America.’ At no point will any American ask Muir if the clothes he’s wearing, the makeup he’s using, the computer he’s carrying, the camera that’s recording, the satellite truck that’s waiting, the satellite that’s orbiting, the editing equipment that’s all cued up … if any of that is ‘Made in America.’
I understand the special will air right when you have that uncontrollable urge to see Muir humiliate Americans for their purchases while not revealing his — or his network’s — own.
But back to the shootings. For the networks, it’s all about gun laws. There’s never a discussion of our culture. The networks’ shallow discussion never passes the puddle-like depths of ‘How do you feel about what happened?’ and ‘Guns are bad.’
Throughout each of the evening news broadcasts, reporters are standing in front of small hills of plush toys. They each report that the California teachers’ union is threatening to pull their $500 million investment from an investment firm for having holdings in an assault rifle company.
May I suggest investing in the plush toy industry?
With the number of American children killed every year, the token gift industry is doing very well.
Of course, if the teachers are concerned about the health and safety of kids, plush toys may not be the best investment. Seriously, I think I can smell the child slave labor emitting from that pile of toys from here!
The networks all tell the harrowing story of NBC reporter Richard Engel being held by pro-Assad forces in Syria for five days. NBC shows a clip from the TODAY show, the first time Engel was interviewed following his escape.
What we learn about TV news is revealing.
The TODAY anchor asks, “How did it feel?”
That’s the ‘Good Morning America’-ization of news that anchor Diane Sawyer has brought to ABC. It’s that touchy-feely bullshit that has replaced journalism.
It caused the networks to exhibit shock for a day after Newtown. Then a day — or three — of fear.
No fact-finding. Limited investigations. Only voyeuristic camera shots of people struggling with the grief.
The networks want us to feel, not to learn. That’s why the next time, they will be in shock again, having learned nothing and only felt.
Being sad and frightened is not a path toward a solution. Given that the networks ask so little of our leaders, it’s not surprising that politicians always give The Media the same answers that never solve the recurring problem.
The networks tonight also had some news about the fiscal cliff, and ABC wasted more time with their childish ‘Instant Index’ segment that features stories allegedly submitted by viewers.
I am seriously starting to doubt that viewers are responsible for this drivel. Being that a picture of ‘the Queen’ is included, I’m beginning to think anchor Sawyer is behind the bit.
I seriously doubt ‘the Queen’ could find a more loyal and loving subject than Diane Sawyer.
But they all got back to Newtown — and all the networks want to heal.
NBC promotes #26Acts which is trying to get people to do 26 good things in memory of the 26 who lost their lives in Newtown.
CBS goes to England and the site of a school massacre there years ago. They talk to a guy who has been working with the survivors. He says that “grief can be a very long and painful ordeal.”
Tonight, America’s nightly network news programs are proving him wrong.
The healing has already begun.
The news teaches us pain only lasts five days. Maybe six, tops.
In fact, we’ll forget about how painful all this was by the time we experience the next American massacre.
Then we’ll go through shock, fear, sorrow and healing all over again.
And all we’ll be offered as solutions by The Media and our politicians will be tighter security and more gun laws.