Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"TV or NOT TV"

I've been thinking for a long time that I wish we had the kind of news coverage we used to have......
"News at six, film at eleven".   For those of you who are too young to remember (First, let me give you my condolences because that means you didn't know America when she was a better country), it took until eleven o'clock for the news to get a film up to illustrate whatever news stories they covered at the dinner hour.

Maybe they had news at noon, too, I don't remember.  And maybe five and six pm, but then it was OFF until later at night.  People walked, read, did homework, spent time with each other and watched entertaining television that wasn't reality shows, raunchy sitcoms, etc.

Since then, all the many news programs must have advertising money so they have news on all day and they cash in from advertisers.  My opinion is that this is choking us.   I don't know about you, but as much as I hate to hear a little girl's been abducted in Mississippi, or a 21 year old woman disappeared coming out of a New York bar and hasn't been seen since, I don't want to know about it.  I have enough on my mind.  You do, too.  I think it wears at us...erodes us............puts us on edge. As if life in America today wasn't bad enough.

For those of you who'll say "Just turn off your TV,"  that's not the point of my post.  The point is I think there's too much news and that all networks seem to squeeze every minute that they can out of every story and I think that's unhealthy for a society.

While we're on it, is there a wonderful old entertaining TV show you'd like to see back on the air?   Funny, I wrote this post a few days ago (and even posted it and got a few comments but then saved it again), then decided to post it Wednesday morning and had received this today...which I figured kind of illustrates entertaining TV!....enjoy...but I would still like to know if you agree about the TV NEWS situation... do you feel like "Enough already!"?
 I love that! 



Thersites said...

Nietzsche, On the Future of Our Educational Institutions"

The division of labour in science is practically struggling towards the same goal which religions in certain parts of the world are consciously striving after,--that is to say, towards the decrease and even the destruction of learning. That, however, which, in the case of certain religions, is a perfectly justifiable aim, both in regard to their origin and their history, can only amount to self-immolation when transferred to the realm of science. In all matters of a general and serious nature, and above all, in regard to the highest philosophical problems, we have now already reached a point at which the scientific man, as such, is no longer allowed to speak. On the other hand, that adhesive and tenacious stratum which has now filled up the interstices between the sciences--Journalism--believes it has a mission to fulfil here, and this it does, according to its own particular lights--that is to say, as its name implies, after the fashion of a day-labourer.

"It is precisely in journalism that the two tendencies combine and become one. The expansion and the diminution of education here join hands. The newspaper actually steps into the place of culture, and he who, even as a scholar, wishes to voice any claim for education, must avail himself of this viscous stratum of communication which cements the seams between all forms of life, all classes, all arts, and all sciences, and which is as firm and reliable as news paper is, as a rule. In the newspaper the peculiar educational aims of the present culminate, just as the journalist, the servant of the moment, has stepped into the place of the genius, of the leader for all time, of the deliverer from the tyranny of the moment.
Now, tell me, distinguished master, what hopes could I still have in a struggle against the general topsy-turvification of all genuine aims for education; with what courage can I, a single teacher, step forward, when I know that the moment any seeds of real culture are sown, they will be mercilessly crushed by the roller of this pseudo-culture? Imagine how useless the most energetic work on the part of the individual teacher must be, who would fain lead a pupil back into the distant and evasive Hellenic world and to the real home of culture, when in less than an hour, that same pupil will have recourse to a newspaper, the latest novel, or one of those learned books, the very style of which already bears the revolting impress of modern barbaric culture--"

Alligator said...

I think instant news also creates more room for error and false reporting. So many outlets are fighting to be on top, they rush a story out there without checking even basic facts. Then, they have to maintain the most alarmist, emotional, controversial, or accusatory coverage to maintain the ratings lead.

Why does the story of one missing or murdered child get coverage 24/7 for weeks or months but a multitude of others are never noted? Its the ratings game baby, it's not about "informing" the public with need to know information. Yet they can never apologize when a story is demonstrably factually incorrect or coverage incites other problems.

And the net effect is, it wears everyone down. I know I periodically have to take a break from "news" and blogs. It can get overwhelming and depressing. The mind cannot absorb let alone properly process all the accelerated information being thrown at it.

Sam Huntington said...

I do want to know what is going on in our country and around the world; I just don’t want to know it 24/7. Like you, I hate the “Amber Alerts” in Utah. I live on the opposite side of the country and this has nothing to do with me. I have no interest in stories about police officers who murdered their wives. At best, this is regional or local news. And like you, I feel that this type of news simply opens the door for sensationalism.

I don’t watch television that much —it is mostly filth. None of the situational comedies makes me laugh, I detest watching homosexuals raise babies, and none of the dramas interest me. Give me a good book!

Elmers Brother said...

You can thank Frank Magid

Z said...

Thersites, excellent addition to my post.

Alligator....So true! It does create more room for error and falsities.
And, our country is FALLING APART and not only do we get info about murdered children from towns we've never heard of discussed, but a headline might be what Lindsay Lohan said about somebody! WHO CARES?
Of course we care terribly about murdered children, but what can we DO about it? We need to let their community grieve, let their community solve the murder. NOT US.

Sam......murderous policemen; Drew Peterson. WHY should we even KNOW HIS NAME?! Right?
And sensationalism is so bad for us all; it can create copy-cat murders, it can muck up an investigation and even taint a trial, it exhausts us and cheapens our society.

"News at six, film at eleven"..what a luxury. But, we can never stuff that genie back into the bottle, I'm afraid.

Always On Watch said...

After watching the video, I forgot what I was gonna say.

Z said...

Elbro...He was largely responsible for ACTION NEWS and all that implies, I guess...but we bought into it.

And I think knowing everything all the time is ADDICTIVE; at least it's become that for me....unless Shep Smith is on FOX, at which time I turn to CNN and have to watch Soledad O'Brien quickly scanning her paper copy of a very leftwing blog's slamming of Ryan's Medicare plan so she can insult the Republican woman who's doing such a very excellent job of fighting O'Brien's misinformation!
Imagine if a FOX news person had been holding the Weekly Standard or something in their hand for points to argue a liberal?! :-)

and the beat goes on.......

Z said...

AOW, I was afraid of including it with this post for that VERY REASON!
But isn't the Burnett skit fun!? I LOVE that cast and how they tried to hold in their own laughter as they acted!

Brooke said...

When I was a kid, there was morning news, then five o'clock local, and six o'clock national news. If something really bad happened, you might get a break-in report.

I think the 24/7 news cycle is horrific. Most of the time they simply conjecture, or as you said, Z, repeat the same story, simply waiting for the next bucket of chum to be dropped.

Z said...

then we've got that CREEP Olivier Knox using this as a headline at Yahoo "Obama camp dismisses ‘unhinged’ Romney attack"

Really? Is the attack UNHINGED, or is it Obama's camp saying it? Sure, there are QUOTES around UNHINGED in the title, but REALLY?

How about "Obama camp dismisses what they call 'unhinged' attack by Romney?"

Sounds like Romney's right to me, by the way....if only the left would LISTEN to the truth about the Medicare plans and who's REALLY robbing Medicare.

Robert Sinclair said...

Carol Burnett was always one of my favorite shows. The skits were always knee-slappers.

Bob said...

" I think there's too much news and that all networks seem to squeeze every minute that they can out of every story and I think that's unhealthy for a society."

I do not agree, Z. First of all, the news world with its many outlets, including your blog, gives me a LOT better picture of what is going on. Until we had CNN and FOX, we never knew what we missed learning with the Big Dumb Three networks the only tv sources.

Second, I don't watch TV all day. It is very to turn it off when I tire of the bs. I usually have it on with the sound turned off, leaving the crawler on a business news channel as an alert mechanism.

Third, thank God for the business news channels. We have Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg. We used to get bupkus for business news on the standard networks.

Having said all that, I agree that it is going a bit far to hear about every flooded road in Iowa, or every fire in California all day, every day. They tell you what's coming up next, tease it a couple of times, then give you the story.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the news at 6 thing.

Most people around me are coming back from work or are still there at 6. Then they wonder why they don't get ratings. Not only we have new media but people are in their car then.

Scotty said...

I agree with Bob.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "press"...

"51% Expect Most Reporters To Help Obama; 9% Predict Most Will Help Romney"

"Most voters think President Obama has gotten better treatment from the media than Mitt Romney has, and they expect that biased coverage to continue.."

Bob said...

FB said, "I don't understand the news at 6 thing."

Way back before video tape technology, television news crews would shoot a length of standard film, and then take it back to the station for processing. That way, when the 6 o'clock news came on, and the film was not ready, they would tease the film by telling you, "here's the story. Come back later to see the film".

When I worked at a tv station back in the 1960's, the processing at the stations was pretty fast. They spend a LOT of money to set that up.

The way the timing worked out was this:
1. Central Time - The local news started at 5:00 PM, followed by network news at 6:00 PM. Then the late news was at 10:00 PM.
2. Eastern and Pacific time: Slip that schedule by one hour.
3. Mountain Time; The mountain states did not have electricity. Actually, I think that the Mountain Time tv schedule followed the west coast scheds.

Maybe Z can tell me if I am wrong about the west coast stuff.

Anonymous said...

FROM Z: did they handle news in France when you were living there?

Bob...I agree we need news but not 24/7, and not the pathetic stories we are subjected to day in and day out.
I absolutely agree with you about FOX, CNN, etc....
I wouldn't say get rid of them, I'd say "keep us informed, not weeping over a little girl's abduction"

Also, I loved living in Europe for 2398472934823947 reasons (maybe a little more than that!?) but one of the things I liked was INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

CNN Int'l is FAR more liberal than our CNN, but you got a lot of information.

Of course, East Timor was a mess when I first moved to Paris and I couldn't care LESS, but I learned about it!

To see Syrians dying and the next story is Lindsay Lohan makes my head spin, personally.

Ducky's here said...

Well it's no secret that I'm not thrilled with popular culture. The raunchy contemporary brand that tries to shock is a step down to boot.

There's a retro TV station locally that has some entertaining stuff but one show stands out and I try not to miss it.

Hint:"Oh,listen,just one more thing"

I'm surprised how much I miss him as an actor

The Serpentdove Said said...

By the way, any word on who Harry Reid's biological father is?

sue hanes said...

Z - I totally agree with this excellent post. Too much news - and too graphic. If I want to see more about a news story I will pursue it instead of having it shoved down my throat.

You are right on about the old tv programs. I have said many times that I wish the programs were back that were truly funny and I could watch them with my girls. Now I don't know how parents stand it.

My daughter and her husband have trained their kids to respond when they say - 'close your eyes or plug your ears - or both.'

Trouble is - now the kids know there is something 'forbidden' on tv - and well - Z - you know how kids can be.

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Well it's no secret that I'm not thrilled with popular culture.

But you are for the folks and the people right? But they have bad taste and should not be involved in cultural choices?

Typical leftist elitiste dictatorial mind.

Ducky's here said...

No Froggy, to be a culture of the people, the people have to produce it, not simply consume what the market dictates.

Anonymous said...

"Harry Reid's biological father is?"

Snake Plisken?

Bob said...

"The division of labour in science is practically struggling towards the same goal which religions in certain parts of the world are consciously striving after,--that is to say, towards the decrease and even the destruction of learning"

That is certainly true in some cases. Climate science has devolved into a religion, but I don't know of any Western religions that tend toward the destruction of learning. Western religions have always promoted learning and science.It is the governments of men that promote dogma.

I don't see what journalism has to do with anything. As any institution, it has its problems not the least of which is its own interpretation of journalism as agenda promotion. The journalistic world exists almost independently from the rest of society, morphing into a monster of its own making.

I am not trying to be combative with this, but see things differently. Elucidate me if you will.

Bob said...

Z: "Shep Smith is on FOX, at which time I turn to CNN". We have to make allowances for people who went to school at Ole' Miss. The real world hasn't gotten there, yet.

Ducky: Thanks for the video. Good stuff.

Impertinent: "Harry Reid's biological father is? Snake Plisken?" That's hilarious, but Snake Plisken was too intelligent to let a kid as dumb as Harry live.

Fredd said...


As usual, you are correct: this constant news cycle has changed our society for the worse.

Back in the day, kids could be kids and get on their bikes and stay out all day, endless advertures at hand (and no bike helmets, either).

Now, we all worry about our kids so much as walking next door without the parents watching them like hawks.

What's changed? Not much, except now we have the news media telling us that what happened to that kidnap victim in Provo, UT could easily happen to everyone.

There are still the same percentage of evil-doers out there that there always was. It's just that nowadays we are bombarded with each and every rotten deed that happens nationwide, 24 hours a day, giving us the feeling that we are surrounded by miscreants waiting for us to let our guard down just for a second.

It wasn't like that before the 24 hour news cycle.

christian soldier said...

Thersites is right on!

as to the video- I haven't laughed so hard for 9 minutes if a very long time-
thanks Z-

Always On Watch said...

Much of what is called news today is nothing more than filler. I'm sick of it!

I decided a long time ago not to watch "the news" for hour after hour.

I have the suspicion that brain rewiring is going on -- with all this saturation from the TV.

Mustang said...

I’m not sure we can make the case that news programming explains how corrupt our people have become. Far more people watch brainless “sitcoms” and those with immoral themes than the 24-7 news programs, combined.

Our societal problems didn’t just happen in the 1990s. They began thirty years before then and steadily got worse. No one noticed; no one did anything about it. Parents provided their children with television sets so that their children could watch TV in their own bedrooms —out of sight, and out of mind, no parental supervision. In the 1960s, everyone thought “damn” was a shocking word for films and television; now we’re up to the F word, and some of those hyphenated.

But unlike Ducky, I’m not prepared to blame this on capitalist enterprise. We may have transformed ourselves into a materialistic society, but this behavior has been going on long before capitalism. I think it is a human flaw. We are at the point now where the more expensive goods become, the more we crave them —yes, even if that means driving ourselves deep into debt. That $800/month for a Japanese made car, the $200 each month for cell phones and “aps” is worth it, even if we can’t afford to live in a decent house or send our tots to a private pre-school.

Capitalist enterprises respond to human demand. Admittedly, they are helping to fuel that demand. We call this marketing. But it doesn’t take much to convince mindless people, does it? You know, a great example is that “hope and change” bull sold to mindless people four years ago, and the idiotic “compassionate conservatism” eight years before that …

Anonymous said...


Ducky, you say society has to produce the crap culture but what happened?
Picture your or my lovely grandmother writing the Kim Kardashian Story, for example?

In my opinion, more liberal, loose Hollywood has created situations which people today follow.
I knew NO ONE (no one) who was celebrated with a baby shower for a child coming outside marriage. NO ONE. That was TV.

Remember, everyone was shocked at Murphy Brown and Quayle was absolutely right in suggesting Murphy could afford to bring a child into the world.

I could cover different subjects but let's just stay on unwed pregnancy for now...
this is something almost sanctioned by liberal Hollywood through TV, movies....lowering the bar.
(please don't tell me people had children out of wedlock for years, by the way...everyone's well aware of that and the percentage is my point, not the phenomenon)

back to work!

Ducky's here said...

If people feel there is too much it's easy enough to change the channel or do something constructive.

Sad thing may be that there are a lot of news junkies who have become addicted to the drone.

There's very little news involved.

Ducky's here said...

Well z, the deterioration of the culture is, to most of us, obvious.

Everything is franchised from the lousy food to the cheap clothes to music and film. All pitched to making a buck, turning over lots of product.

As for it being leftist. That seems a broad brush. You'd say I'm leftist and I have a library of about two thousand films. I'd say that two of them, The Night Porter and Empire of Passion are sexually explicit and both can be easily defended artistically. So there is a gradient.

Now, it's up to conservatives to decide whether they want to take us back to 1950 or 1776. But the way back machine isn't working.

Meanwhile to get back to your thesis about news. I listen to a lot of radio. And frankly Boston used to have the best radio in the world but it's all gone now or most of it.
Talk, talk, talk and adult contemporary crap music. We used to have 4 classical music stations and now it's down to 1 1/2 and don't expect to hear something daring like Bartok. Eric Jackson, probably the best jazz programmer in the country with apologies to WBGO out of Newark has been cut down to one night a week. If it weren't for Harvard radio jazz would be practically off the dial. Even with Berklee in town.

It's all talk, talk, talk. News, news, news.

Damn, I remember when NPR carried a reading out loud program that read the classics and I miss it.

So take some solace that there's a real hard core leftist who isn't happy about the situation either and I really can't put my finger on how it happened.

Lisa said...

I am guilty of becoming addicted to the news shows but only for the politics not for all the bad news.
I just like to keep up on things for when I go to my bigger addiction....blogs.

Lisa said...

Z glad you feel the same way as I do about Shep Smith

Anonymous said...

No Froggy, to be a culture of the people, the people have to produce it, not simply consume what the market dictates.

That's some intellectual masturbation.

The people in the US do produce it. A LOT compared to countries like France for example.

If you think the State produces culture and the State is the expression of the people's culture, then you ARE a fascistic mind.

Diversity, openness my friend. That's what's beautiful. Even if crap has to come out of it.

The State wouldn't have produced East of Eden.

The State wouldn't have created cinema at all actually. The market created it.

You wouldn't be teaching movie making without the market.

Anonymous said...

We used to have 4 classical music stations and now it's down to 1 1/2 and don't expect to hear something daring like Bartok

Deal with it. I'm sure some people would complain they didn't get minstrel music in the 1400s.

Download Spotify, a great app or music the free market created. Install the Classical music app and enjoy. Free of charge!

The market is a beautiful thing if you live in 2012, Ducky.

Anonymous said...

Now, it's up to conservatives to decide whether they want to take us back to 1950 or 1776. But the way back machine isn't working.

I'm laughing hard b/c you're the one who's complaining radio has changed too much.

MAybe we should go back to 1950 and you could get your radio stations back.

Black Sheep said...

Today's TV news is a bunch of people sitting around a table on odd looking chairs or stools, speculating about what might happen if.

When TV news first got rolling, back when, there wasn't much to show anyway and the anchor person was the show, along with another, and it was often a back-and-forth like a ventriloquist and his dummy.

Before that, you tuned in to the news on the radio at 6 in the evening and someone named Gabriel Heeter would tell you what went on during the day.

Of all the changes, I'll take Gabe. News programs today are politically slanted hogwash and guesswork, mostly spun into unrecognizability with Political Correctness.

As for bringing back old programs, M.A.S.H. would do the trick.

Kid said...

Thersites, do you think anyone actually reads all that cut and pasting you do?

Kid said...

An Idle Media Is The Devils Workshop.

Ducky's here said...

No Froggy, variety is way down. The market has done what it tends to do, cluster around the least common denominator. That is what will happen when the culture becomes commodified.

I noticed today that Criterion is going to release the full 220 minute version of Cimino's Heaven's Gate . Not many people have seen it after the disastrous one week opening in New York years ago but it has been an incredibly influential film.
The studios just shut down American auteur driven film after that huge losses and the accountants took over so now you have exactly what z is concerned about.
Cheap sex that sells, slasher frachises and boring CGI. No, the market isn't necessarily your friend.

Odd, French film was being subsidized when it was absolutely at its zenith.

Kid said...

Sam, I'm with you man. I watch educational channels and the a couple nighttime shows on the food channel and don't even have a lot of time for that.

Anonymous said...

Ducky, get out of your house. Variety isn't down. YOU think it's down because it doesn't meet your taste.

I think that if you'd stop being so self centered you'd realize there's a lot of variety. You just don't like it.

French films are still subsidized and most of them suck.

Again your intellect is weak. You take your taste and conclude the market is bad.

You're just getting old I think.

Z said...

Ducky, I think FB's right; I think there is variety....female films, war films, the occasional intellectual piece, old book's brought to life by film, etc.

I don't think it's monolithic and I don't think it's monolithically bad in America.

I think that most of them have a leftwing bent and that's ridiculous but there is variety.

Elmers Brother said...

duhkkky's an anachronism...everybody's tried to tell him about Pandora and Spotify...where Indie music etc flourishes and you can choose any kind of music instead of it being chosen for you...

step into the 21st century