Saturday, August 1, 2009

News vs. "News"

One of my pet peeves is the prevalence of 24 hour cable news channels and their so-called "experts" that tell everyone what to think. Even worse, I can't stand it when these "experts" blow the smallest things out of proportion, so much so that people who have forgotten how to tell the difference between pure fact and hype begin to obsess over little things that really don't make a difference.

Just this past week, I spent the better part of a day hearing about how horrible it is that our current president won't release his college grades for public record. Seriously? Who cares? Aren't there larger problems in the world than the grade he got in English 101? Besides, I think our last president pretty much proved that any frat boy with the study habits of a slug can be elected president. In fact, said frat boy can be elected twice thankyouverymuch.

However, I thought I'd help out these "experts" and come up with some outrageous stories that they can use in the event that their writers run out of ideas. (And I say writers and not reporters because I've seen firsthand how this network does things. On a trip to NYC a few years ago, we stood outside the window of the studio and watched the anchors read their banter off the tele-prompter. The banter. The drivel about their morning coffee and the weather. Reporters and anchors? Puh-lease. But I digress......)

So when the hoopla dies down about our president's college grades from twenty five years ago, the "news" networks can worry about:

- which side of the bed he sleeps on. Because we all know that people who sleep on the left side of the bed tend to support tax breaks for single, non-welfare-taking working mothers.

- what size shoe he wears. Because we all know that men who wear a size 8 and have big ears have a propensity to become dictators (Napoleon and Hitler, anyone?).

- if he wears boxers or briefs. Because we all know that men who wear briefs are more Type A and tend to get their panties, or briefs, all in a wad when those darn Russians say something slightly out of line.

- the names of all of his past pets. Because we all know that people who habitually name their pets "real" names (Mandy, Sophie, Abby) as opposed to "pet" names (Rex, Buster, Buttons) are pretentious. And heaven forbid we have a pretentious commander-in-chief.

- if he prefers the roll of toilet paper to go over or under. Because we all know that people who prefer it to go under are less likely to be religious. And darn it, every president should not only attend church twice a week, but have the entire New Testament memorized. The King James Version, no less.

- if he likes Mexican food. Because people who like Mexican food obviously support illegal immigration from Mexcio. And we all know that people who eat Mexican food more than once a week are ten times more likely to hire one of those illegals standing outside the local home improvement store.

Pretty silly, huh? But that's exactly what those "news" stories sound like to people who don't buy into the hype. It's just too bad that much of America has forgotten how to distinguish fact from crap and form their own opinions without a pundit's input.

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