The News Wednesday Night: Teasing Christie and Other Absurdities Nightly Network News Review


Chuck’s nightly news recap blog returns!

My seventeen days of a self-imposed exile from the most modern forms of news media has come to an abrupt end. During the Holidays my only news sources were family, old friends, local Great Lakes area newspapers purchased at gas stations throughout our annual Midwestern Christmas sojourn, and any current event that may have been mentioned during a college bowl or NFL game on TV.

I was free from Facebook, Twitter and all the social media. Hell, I was unentangled from the entire fucking web.

I didn’t watch any US national nightly TV news broadcasts which I normally critique here every Monday through Friday.

It was liberating.

Now, I’m back.

It took me little time to discover that the wars in Nigeria, Myanmar and Syria were getting worse, Syrian rebels are now claiming they have and would use chemical weapons, the Iraqi government is threatening its citizens over possible protests, the Taliban has released new threats, avoidable measles is plaguing Pakistani kids, and kids and journalists returning to their respective schools and workplaces today — for the first time following the Newtown massacre — were being greeted by armed guards.

When I last wrote here, the ‘fiscal cliff’ was the latest fiction conjured by the two major political parties for their media to overhype. The ‘cliff’ was predictably avoided, again, just like the previous — and equally fabricated and misleading — ‘debt ceiling.’

Now, we await The Media to tell us the next distracting tale fabricated by the Democratic and Republican Parties. The Media will dutifully and diligently use balance as a weak substitute for objectivity in the next party-approved debate. Meanwhile, The Media will ignore the stories the parties are not debating. (Anybody else tired of the huge amounts of campaign money going to The Media?)

Y’know, stuff like climate change, fracking, hedge funds that are threatening national sovereignty, anything happening in Mexico or on the entire continent of Africa, or dealing with cyber freedom like the proposed and very scary International Telecommunications Union.

No, while the planet burns, as we poison our water, as democracies are usurped by corporations, as our neighbors and entire continents crumble, and our freedoms are threatened, we’ve been told fairy tales of WMDs and ceilings and cliffs.

Later, when we grew up, we discovered none of these things were true. They were all lies; distractions from more important things that desperately needed to be addressed. But then we remembered the fear those stories of WMDs and ceilings and cliffs brought to our hearts. How they brought us together. So we kept the tradition burning and passed it onto our innocent children. Now they, too, could learn the true meaning of America.

The true meaning (i.e. myth-building) of America, as we return to the national nightly network TV news shows — ABC World news, CBS Evening News and NBC Evening News — is on full display as ABC anchor Diane Sawyer teases their coverage of the Sandy aid shortfall fallout with plenty of Governor-Chris-Christie-as-straight-shooter hype.

You’d think with the way Sawyer plugged Governor Christie during the toss from the local news and the opening of the actual ABC World News Tonight broadcast, we were going to get plenty of Christie. In the end, we get only two short quotes from the Governor totaling not much more than 10 seconds, if that.

NBC and CBS did the same, playing nearly identical clips, but neither led with Christie or pushed him during the local toss.

It’s become increasingly clear Sawyer has a huge crush on Christie. She loves the idea of a Jersey tough guy telling off the government. It makes sense that Sawyer’s sensibilities so strongly lean toward the Tea party: what would you expect from the TV anchor version of Margaret Dumont?

ABC really manufactures the celebrity stories tonight. The fiscal cliff is about Chris Christie. Then, it’s Dr. Besser and speculation about Hillary Clinton’s blood clot. Finally, ABC reports on ESPN colleague (owned by same company as ABC) Hannah Storm who broadcast the Rose Bowl Parade despite severe burns from a gas explosion several weeks ago.

ABC will spend more time on Storm than they ever did on Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage girl who was shot in the head for supporting her right to an education. Being that it’s been months since ABC has selected a ‘Person of the Week’ who wasn’t already a celebrity, guess which one has a better shot at being given the ‘honor’ this Friday?

It really is amazing how ABC can do so much celebrity news without legally being forced to change their initials to TMZ.

ABC also tells us that Sandy Hook Elementary is reopening, showing workers trying to make the place look undisturbed. No word on a shaken American suburbia returning from the Holidays to schools patrolled by armed guards.

The Empire of Fear may have just taken its first goose-step.

While it’s difficult to watch two news stories simultaneously, it can be done. Then, there’s the added difficulty of them starting and ending at the same time. Finally, the most difficult simultaneous news story watching is when they are on the same topic.

But when they are on the same topic, but the content is different, holy shit does it get hard to cover the news!

Here’s what I could figure: CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan “Ernie” LaPook was talking about some new report that said being a bit overweight wasn’t bad for you, I think. The good doctor explained that weight isn’t the only guideline for good health and the report is a bit misleading.

Meanwhile, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman is telling us fructose turns off that part of your brain that tells us we’re full. That’s why we can drink so many sodas.

So if I saw this correctly, CBS was reporting a story that said fat was OK and NBC was explaining how we just found out how we’re so fucking fat.

I think if you cue these two stories up with ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’ then do a couple bong hits and some nitrous, a house will fall on your rival witch.

Singer Patti Page died. All the networks want you to know she sang ‘How Much is That Doggie in the Window?’ I want you to know that each network values the death of Patti Page over all the people who died in wars in Nigeria, Syria, Burma and elsewhere today.

CBS ends their news with the profile of a Sandy victim who still desperately needs help.

NBC closes by ripping off an episode of Ovation’s “Motor City Rising” reality TV series. I think the NBC reporter is John Faw, but I miss his name. NBC reports on a ‘soup fundraiser’ that was featured on ‘Rising.’ During such ‘soups,’ participants pitch ideas to a crowd who throws all their donated money behind one lucky winner. The NBC story even mentions a winner who was featured on the show which was originally aired well over six months ago.

It’s not quite plagiarism, but they should have cited the series which deserves everyone’s attention. Okay, at least the first few episodes do.

Besides, The Ruiners are big supporters of This is Hell! and they’re featured on the show.



How does ABC wrap their broadcast? They ask people if they fulfill their New Year’s resolutions.

To be honest, I am curious. But ABC should first ask people on the street if they got what they wanted from Santa.

I hope Diane Sawyer got her inflatable Chris Christie sex doll I sent her. Don’t tell Sawyer, but it’s actually a bounce house I got on the cheap because it had a portrait of Peter Griffin from ‘Family Guy’ painted on the side.

Peter Griffin bounce house, Chris Christie sex doll … it’s pretty much the same thing.