Being the year's end my thoughts have turned to the many stories which at best should have consumed mere minutes perhaps hours and at worst should have been relegated to being local news stories if even that. Upon learning that almost a quarter of Americans still believe Saddam was linked to 9/11 and that same number believe the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis I believe this is not just a cute year end round up but points to opportunities lost for informing the populace of basic facts. I wonder how things might be different if it were not for these collosal time wasting stories.........
#9 Iraqi Elections
Which election? Take your pick..... its all the same feel good purple finger cheerleading that doesn't make much difference to what happens on the ground in Iraq a few days later. Of course the first election was the best for the cheerleaders. You always remember your first time. For Geraldo it was AMAZING....."They are casting their ballot for the first time. It was so inspiring. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my entire life....It is the most amazing sight.....I'll tell you folks, it is an amazing, amazing feeling."
Got it. I'll be amazed when we have paper tracking of ballots in the good 'ol US of A.
#8 Stuck Landing Gear
OK it was a good story the first time. But since that ratings grabber we have watched fuel burning planes circle the cabloid friendly skies live for hours on end. Like an old jock trying to re-live his glory days the 3 cabloid networks chase each of these planes in distress hoping the 4th time will be as good (ratings Ka ching) as the first. It won't unless one crashes in a ball of flames...is that what they're hoping for?
#7 Pope Dies
Yes it is history but Smoke Cams, TV doctors, priests, bishops, live all nighters, Chris Matthews Catholic extrordinaire and live wall-to-wall-coverage for days on end? Or was it weeks? I literally tuned out and turned it off. Pooped on pope I missed a week of TV news.
#6. Hurricanes except Katrina
From Dennis to Wilma to Rita we saw way too many news folks lashed to the masts, live 24 hours a day. MSNBC's Al Roker took the top prize with his flop. I get the feeling this is like adolescents who try to see how much they can drink in a night without killing themselves. Are hurricanes the cabloid Death Wish?
But props to the cabloids for Katrina coverage. More please? It ain't over.
#5 War on Christmas
Never has more war fraud been created of whole cloth than since DeNiro bombed Albania. O'Reilly may have led the sleigh but all the cabloids jumped on for the ride of shame.
#4 Run Away Bride
Another TV News Lost Weekend for me. Turned.It.Off.
Of course O'Reilly had it figured out from the start..."It's got to be a crime. A woman like that with a long history of responsibility. She had a steady job... She just wouldn't bolt and not tell anybody."
That's the kind of stuff that gets you to the top of the Pyramid.
And from Sally Quinn Sugary Medicine Woman ....."I think the appeal of it, if you look what is in the news this week or last week, Social Security, the filibuster and the horrible bombings in Iraq, what do you want to know about? I want to think about the runaway bride, because it means it's either not going to be boring or it's not going to be depressing."
Network entertainment has gone to reality TV and news programs have ditched reality for fantasy land. We're all Sally in Wonderland now.
#3 Missing White Woman....Original Aruba version
Sequels just never do well so its best to go with 7 months of the original. At one point Fox News' Van Sustern boasted that Fox News had 20 people on the ground in Aruba. From 6/26-6/30 the word Aruba was uttered 1100 times on the 3 cabloid networks. Fox won that pissing match with 685.
To quote Mr. Gump..."Stupid is as stupid does.....That's all I have to say about that. "
#2 Terri Schiavo
I have saved 2 close biological relatives from making terrible life choices with just 2 words..."Terri Schiavo"......and this admonishment...."we could all end up on CNN, you can't risk doing that to your family!"
This was a family matter run amok by the Christian Right that eventually brought us Senate video diagnosis, late night debate and the only instance of Bush ditching vacation and jumping to action. And TV egged it on all the way. But when a dead woman's life is at stake......
#1 Michael Jackson
Ahh. The King of Crap. Even CNN prez Jonathon Klein regrets it. He told Newsweek "he's taking steps so that CNN doesn't have to go wacko for Jacko, or someone like him, again.....He marveled at opportunities lost: "We could have done 60 stories during that time."
NO SHIT and Give me a break.
If Whacko Jacko dangled a Baby in Bahrain tomorrow Klein would be chasing Fox to the Persian Gulf faster than you can say Bye Bye Aaron Brown.
So that's it folks....Oh wait, that's only 9 you say.
Yes it is because I want to give you the opportunity to put one on the list.
I'm sure I missed something.
Or what story listed above drove you crazy this year?
Or in what order would you place them?