Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This Week in Media Malfeasance...

For reasons that currently escape us, Rickey watches NBC’s Today Show each morning for 30 minutes before driving to work. Possibly this is because it is the kind of low level sensory input we can handle from 7AM to 7:30AM. Possibly because we dig Al Roker’s comedic antics. Possibly because Rickey secretly has the hots for Anne Curry (seriously gang, news broads are strangely attractive--have you seen Soledad O’Brien?) The sum of all these elements combines into a morning news/entertainment venue that is shallow, bland, & uninteresting, yet strangely soothing at the same time. Much like oatmeal. If anyone out there knows of another morning news program more worthy of Rickey’s attention please please let Rickey know. Because we can only take one more installment of “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” before clambering up a bell tower with a high powered rifle and a lengthy list of names.

Most of the subject matter the Today Show chooses to report on fits squarely into the category of “non-news.” And it is that trend of reporting on inconsequential human interest stories that Rickey would like too briefly rant about today. You know what we’re talking about: children trapped in wells, celebrity trials, tropical depressions, any time Tiki Barber appears in front of the camera. Rickey’s current front runner for the title of “Most Inane Non-News Story of the Year” is the coverage of the Thanksgiving rush. Don’t get us wrong, Rickey enjoys Thanksgiving a lot (he’ll probably write a column about it tomorrow) but a morning news story entitled “Your Countdown to the Thanksgiving Rush” seems to be just a tad on unnecessary side.

At what point did it become necessary for journalists to be dispatched to airports to report on angry travelers being herded from point A to point B? Do think Rickey gives a damn about the fat bastards in this country who fuel up their SUVs or take to the skies and travel to distant relatives’ houses to gorge themselves and spread their narcissistic unhappiness? Do we really need a camera stationed outside a Walmart in Iowa at 4AM the day after Thanksgiving so that we can witness a pack of jackasses competing to see who can poison their children first with Chinese toys this Christmas?

The price of oil was roughly $30 per barrel when the Bush Administration took office in January, 2001. Now it's up to $100 and climbing. It sure would be swell to hear people talk about what's causing that, wouldn't it? We’d like to see news programs cover stories like that rather than the ridiculous “pain at the pump!” segments featuring averge joe grinning sheepishly when he’s asked what he thinks about rising gas prices. You know, something a little more hard hitting than the usual network fluff. Something that might cause Midwesterners to think twice before piling their over stimulated 13 year old brats into an SUV and shuttling them to the mall to watch “Beowulf” in IMAX 3-D.

You know the adage about the population “getting the leaders that they deserve”? Well yes, that is what Rickey bitterly thought after the 2004 election, but it’s not entirely true. We, the American people, get the leaders that the media makes us too complacent to ask any serious questions about. We hear fluff news stories about how Mitt Romney is a wacky Mormon whose religious beliefs alienate voters, but how about a story reporting on how he’s a complete sleaze bag whose indecisiveness and willingness to sell out to the highest bidder totally eclipses John Kerry’s alleged flip flopping in 2004? The talking heads have no problem discussing Hillary Clinton’s “likability” ad nauseum, but how about a hard hitting piece discussing her crippling fear of being perceived as unpatriotic and how it could easily cost her and the Democratic Party the 2008 election? Or whether she’d repeal the Patriot Act if elected?

Hm, well, seeing that this has quickly devolved into a bitter political rant, Rickey will now wrap things up. Ugh, we were just a few sentences away from quoting Ben Franklin. We suppose that a blog that considers itself humorous (my God, it's become self-aware!) should probably operate within those guidelines and not discuss topics that make the reader want to shove their head in an oven. But news companies that consider themselves responsible should report on actual news. That’s all we’re saying. Rickey out.

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Egan Foote said...

Am I wrong, or is Al Roker one of the most useless people out there? What does he do, exactly? From what I can tell, he reads a couple of weather stats on a randomly selected city then tells us that to find out weather that actually affects us we should stay tuned for a real weathermen. Beyond that he laughs, adds zero insight and makes terrible terrible jokes.

Egan, out.

P.S. Anne Curry is mine, Rickey. Watch yourself.

Toasty Joe said...

The mother of all hot news broads, as far as I'm concerned, is Jodi Applegate. Fucking love her. Jodi, the Simpsons, and NFL football are the only reasons to watch Fox.

Rickey Henderson said...

What, Egan doesn't enjoy Roker's joval disposition? Rickey has pointed this out before, but we're pretty sure Al Rocker has a job only because he's the only black guy NBC could find who doesn't frighten the midwest demographic.

Toasty: Jodi Applegate, while quite fetching, doesn't do it for Rickey. In order for Rickey to have the hots for her, she'd have to be more of a serious news anchor (like Anne Curry or Soledad O'Brian).

This rationale is why Rickey could never be attracted to a Fox News Valkyrie.

George said...

I loved Benjamin Franklin's blog. Except he used to write about himself in the second person--what was that about?

Smitty said...

Gotta tell you, Rickey, Smitty thinks Soledad O'Brien is super hot.

see what I mean? And that's not even her at her best.

On top of that, she did ball-busting coverage of the Katrina fiasco. Makes her even better.

And she's into socially-conscious charity.

Soledad O'Brien, the ideal.

Toasty Joe said...

Regarding Ms. Applegate, please take a gander at the video below. I don't have any fucking idea what's going on here (no sound), but it's hot-hot-hot.


mr. met said...

You want politics to actually be about something of substance?

Hands down, the best news caster is none other than Ernie. Talking about smoking hot.

Rickey Henderson said...

For obvious reasons, Rickey would have to be more of a Wolf Blitzer fan.

AmyV said...

Speaking as a member of the MSM, I am offended that you consider the Today show (or any of those morning shows) to be news.

Deb said...

What about Natalie Morales? She's kind of hot in an anorexia meets bulimia sort of way, no? She interviewed me when I was on the Today Show. How long will it be before you're a fan of my blog?

Chus said...

This is what I think: Jodi Applegate