6.21.2007

We interrupt this program....

... to bring you nothing of importance.

Dear TV news anchors,
I don't mind having a regularly scheduled program broken into when something happens... 9/11, heads of countries dying, war, child abductions... you know things that are important and affect a large amount of people. I do mind when these interruptions bring me absolutely nothing that will enlighten me, or that I care about (see caption above... on MSNBC no less - thanks for the hard hitting news coverage!!), and those that last much longer than they actually should, especially when there is no actual information at the time, or there is nothing new to say. At this point, don't start assuming and analyzing... instead, go back to the regularly scheduled program and break in later when you have new information. What I hate even more is when the program gets interrupted for no reason... okay, well there is always a reason, I guess I just don't feel it warrants 2 hours of coverage.
Example #1) NYC - a plane crashed into a building on the upper east side. YES this should have broken into news stories, especially given 9/11. However, as the coverage continued, no one knew anything. The same news person went back and forth 4 or 5 times on whether it was a plane, a helicopter, or perhaps a large man in a cape. Ok, no man in a cape, sorry. This interruption was fine, it just went on a little long.
Example #2) Salt Lake City - Elizabeth Smart is found alive. YES, no problem with this interruption (although at the time, as soon as the breaking news story came up, I thought to myself, oh great, it's raining outside and they have to let us know). It was wonderful to see good news and see that she was alive. However, again, a little long on the coverage, especially since they had no information at this point except that she had been found. Perfect, tell us that, and then go away until you know something else.
Example #3) Minneapolis - Construction workers trapped under a collapsed floor. YES - sure break in and tell us, but don't break in until you know what is going on. Do you really think it makes you look smarter to break in with a story, yet not know any of the details? The woman had no idea what had happened... people were calling in saying they heard a big boom, fire, smoke... no one had a clue. About 2 hours later the coverage finally concluded. They were pouring concrete on the third level of a building, part of it collapsed, one man was trapped. Everyone was okay, they removed the man, he had minor injuries. Everyone was alright. Good story, happy ending, way too much coverage.

Now the 3 things these stories have in common is that they happened in the middle of the day, over the lunch time news or during soap operas.... a pain, but not missing much anyway.

Example #4) Minneapolis - Thunderstorms and Tornado Watches. MAYBE - They are important stories, especially for those in the paths of these storms, but the one here last night... NO. Coverage started during the 5:00 news, perfect place for it, not interrupting anything. Coverage continued over the 6:00 hour - we lost some more news, some Wheel of Fortune, no big problem, eventhough I do enjoy WOF quite a bit. Coverage continued into the 7:00 hour.... interrupting Last Comic Standing, AFI's 100 Best movies, and SYTYCD. N0t acceptable!!! At this point we all know there are storms in the areas, those being hit by it probably don't even have any power to watch the news coverage.... do we really need the weatherman showing us the radar map for 2 and a half hours to see where the storm is??? Why can't they just run the little things along the bottom of the channel letting us know which counties and cities are in harms way? If things get really bad, break in and tell us a tornado touched down. But seriously, stop showing us some little kids picture of golf ball sized hail in his hand while people are dancing for their lives!!! Unacceptable. Luckily, Fox sure knows how to drag out a show (Idol anyone??) and I only missed one couple dancing... but through out the show, they broke in 3 more times to tell us there were still storm watches in effect. Thanks... must have missed the continuous crawl along the bottom of my screen telling me the exact same thing.
Ok, so I know, I sound like some cranky old grandpa who can't get those darn neighbour kids to stop walking on his lawn... but long winded, non informative news breaks bug me!! Even when it is crappy TV on... do we really need to hear the same thing repeated 17 times in 5 minutes? You'd make more friends with shorter, more informative news breaks. Any current or future news reporters who may be reading this.... break in, tell me what's going on (the facts, not the analyzings), leave... and don't come back until you have new, useful information to tell me.

Thank you.

4 comments:

Krista said...

Sounds like maybe it's time to unpack some of your books...fewer interruptions there.

Emma said...

I'm totally with you. All this Anna Nicole "news" coverage in particular is really the last straw in my mind. I mean, come ON! Under what definition is ANY of it actually news? Of course, I might just be bitter because I was stuck in a 1-gate airport with no bathroom and a serious bout of morning sickness waiting for a late flight with CNN headline news going on and on the day she died.

Melissa said...

Hehehehehe. I hate it when shows get interrupted as well. 24 Finale got broken up here...NOT good.

Meg Porter said...

You crack me up Mel! I love this post