The News Tuesday Night: Lip-Synching the News Nightly Network News Review


ABC World News, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have vast amounts of resources to cover whatever is happening. Tonight, two of the three networks really showed off that journalistic wealth. Apparently, after watching the Weather Channel and opening a window, they discovered the breaking news that it’s cold outside. If Fox News Channel doesn’t have people on joking about their desire for global warming, I will be truly disappointed.

You gotta love it when the nightly news — for and by the one percent — reveals how outta touch they are with America. When CBS reporter Dean Reynolds reports on the cold from Minneapolis, he is shocked to learn that people live outside in makeshift tents made of tarps. I see that desperation every day here in Chicago’s neighborhoods. But network news reporters and anchors don’t live in the neighborhoods. They live in downtowns, suburbs and gated communities cleansed of and protected from the offensive-smelling poor. No wonder you don’t see reports on the homeless, or the camps of people victimized by the housing bubble burst. Those camps are within an hour of Manhattan. Too bad networks are more interested in those still suffering from superstorm Sandy, rather than focusing on those who are permanently homeless due to superstorm Wall Street.

Only NBC leads with a different story: a school shooting at Houston’s Lone Star College. There’s no mention of Texas’s liberal gun laws or that state’s proud gun culture. Of course, context is not something the nightly news does.

CBS goes to this story a bit later, even showing how some police forces are now changing their response tactics. Only in America.

Ex-Fox News Channel whore Major Garrett left to work at CBS Evening News a few months ago. Major’s tone has changed sharply, no longer peppering reports with conservative talk show talking points. Major can play a right-wing nut on Fox and a relatively objective reporter on CBS. That’s quite a range for an actor. I mean, a “journalist.”

ABC reporter Martha Raddatz does a good story on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and what she faces in the coming Benghazi hearings. That is, except for one thing: for some reason, Raddatz decides the best way to spend time is to show us Hillary being helped while walking down some stairs. Who needed those extra forty-five seconds of coverage on Benghazi anyway? We all know what happened, right?

CBS reporter Clarissa Ward does a fantastic story on Syria’s Internally Displaced People. This isn’t “news,” in that it’s been happening for over a year, but it is to the national TV networks. There was another much bigger story today about IDPs. Seventeen people froze to death in a camp … but that was in Afghanistan, which has become one of the seven words you can no longer say on television.

ABC’s trite ‘Instant Index’ Act III segment really gives anchor Diane Sawyer a chance to show off how little she knows about what she reads from the teleprompter, and how bad her writers truly are. Sawyer starts this nightly trivia-filled bit by reporting that the game company Atari is going into bankruptcy. Sawyer says Atari “can’t keep up with the big boys.” Actually, Diane, they are trying to get away from their “debt-laden French parent” company, according to Tribune Newspapers. In this way, they can “capitalize on classic titles like ‘Pong.’” Bankruptcy does NOT mean you are necessarily giving up. It’s usually simply corporate reorganization. But that’s too complicated for ABC.

The other nonsense Sawyer tells us about, during the ‘Instant Index,’ is Sheryl Crowe’s reaction to ex-fiance Lance Armstrong’s confession (I was wondering how the networks would keep reporting that week-old story), and how co-worker Barbara Walters fell and is recovering.

Not that the networks care, but the Iraq war took at least another 17 lives today. I am certain that one of the Iraqi’s dying words were “How does Sheryl Crowe feel about Lance’s Oprah interview?”

CBS reporter Nancy Cordes is able to simultaneously celebrate and insult women attaining elected office in the same story. Cordes tells us how so many of New Hampshire’s newly elected officials are women. She calls it an example of “Girl Power.” Later, on her coverage of the inauguration and the overwhelming number of men holding higher office, she refers to that as “boy power.” Alright, she didn’t. Why not? Well, because infantilizing people is condescending … when they’re men. When they’re women, you can simplify their success down to a Spice Girls catchphrase, a band I am certain Cordes loved while in college.

We all remember how much the Spice Girls did for women’s empowerment, don’t we? Remember how they were a prefabricated band who empowered girls to go on stage in scantily clad outfits singing songs written by men?

Fuck the fact that it’s the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. That’s not ‘Girl Power.’

All the networks reported on rumors that Beyonce may have lip-synched the National Anthem at yesterday’s presidential inauguration. This horrific scandal that affects everyone’s lives directly bumped trivial stories like Kashmir preparing for nuclear war with India.

No word on how Kashmiris feel about Beyonce’s possible fakery.

Let’s end today’s network news recap blog with some empowering “Girl Power” lyrics from Beyonce:

‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
‘Cause if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Buying women jewelry to claim them as yours — now that’s “Girl Power.”