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Friday, November 04, 2011

Sayings Coined from the Outrage du Jour

I have a new hobby where I like to invent little sayings borrowing from the media’s outrage du jour, those nasty little bits of non-journalism that create such a furor with the nightly-news viewing audience.  I suppose that I shouldn’t call what they present on television as news but that’s what they call it and I don’t want to confuse anyone. Television news has more in common with America’s Funniest Home Videos than anything remotely resembling reporting. These loathsome reports aren’t minor asides in television news; they represent the raison d’être of popular news. Tabloid journalism is the basis of these broadcasts.

After all, if we can’t wax axiomatic about some profane disregard for humanity—no matter how few people it really affects—then where’s the fun in even bothering with television news? Before the advent of television I’m sure they aired the same intelligence-insulting features on the radio. I regret that the Lindbergh baby kidnapping is a little too distant for me to come up with a snappy quip.  I’ll stick with more recent fodder.

I hear about these outrages du jour secondhand. I don’t watch television news and I don’t live in the USA.  The news in Spain is equally crap but for reasons I’ll have to explain in another post.  If you think my little sayings are contemptibly callous, just remember to blame yourself for watching the “news” in the first place. You won’t read about these non-stories on the front page of The New York Times. Whatever you think of that newspaper I can say that it properly insulates readers from the sewage of modern TV journalism.

The problem is that in the era of the 24 hour news cycle, my references have the shelf life of ripe bananas.  I’ll list these in chronological order going backwards from the present.Only two so far but I can't remember what was in the news two weeks ago. What were we mad at back then?

1)      Beaten like a sadistic judge’s daughter.

2)      Ignored like a dead Chinese baby lying in the middle of the street.

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