Local news is almost as stupid as Faux

I mean, local news has the anchors that haven’t worked their way up to the big networks or are on the way down. Bunch of smiling idiots reading their vacuous text… Then there are the “teasers” so you’ll watch the news at 11PM: “BIG change in the weather! Stay tuned for News at 11.” The big change? It’s going to rain a little tomorrow. Yawn.

Well, that enough ranting for now…

The teasers around here are more like “Hey, something really fucked up just happened in the area today! Watch tomorrow to find out!” or “Is this company legit, or spewing poison all over the goddamned place? Tell you later”. This kind of thing, of course, leads to you immediately getting up and locking your door in an attempt to keep yourself from being tomorrows teaser.

At least the local NBC affiliate doesn’t seem to be all that bad with the plastic smiles and whatnot.

What do you need to do to keep your kids alive?

We’ll tell you… after the weather!


On the other hand, at least most local news people acknowledge the fact that they are uneducated imbeciles, so they do their lighthearted shticks and ridiculous “investigative” teasers, and just ignore any actual news. Heaven help them if anything important actually happens in their local town, they have to go out to National news using their own live feed to find someone who will even attempt to cover a major breaking news story.

The last local news person I can recall who seemed to have even half a brain was Jim Jensen in New York, and he died what, 10 or 20 years ago. He was the local lead in for Walter Cronkite and the rest of the CBS news team back when CBS news was what everyone watched (before turning to the Huntley-Brinkley report.)

So much for local news.

What’s really sad, though, is the national news, with their supposed brains and talent, and their supposed objectivity, when what they actually have nothing more than slightly higher production values and marginally less inanity – but no more education, no more insight, and no more intelligence. I get upset when they cover a national or international story by accepting a political statement at face value, or when they talk to some scientist or doctor or artist or writer or other specialist without evincing the faintest clue they know what they are talking about. I used to have a faint tinge of respect for Dan Rather for letting it all hang out and blasting politicians in his editorial bits, but then I saw him the night of the OJ chase, looking embarrassed and fidgety, but still standing up there for two hours cutting between the house and the bronco… A real man would have told them to go screw and gone back to his office until there was some actual news to read.

Eh, to hell with all of them.

I absolutely can’t stand watching the news, especially local. Too much fluff about little crap I don’t care about, and not enough national and world coverage.

I much prefer to read the newspaper, and supplement that with online news. A couple nicely arrange CNN alerts keep me up to speed on developments with issues I care too much about, like the movements of the RIAA and other stuff in the world of computing and media.

Sitting at Coney, reading the newspaper, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee…now that’s the way to stay on top of things.

I agree completely. I skim the paper NY Times looking for the occasional article which is both well-written and interesting (a lot fewer than there used to be) and some of their op-ed columns. Otherwise I just occasionally check out the BBC site or just follow Google News links. I don’t watch TV news anymore if I can avoid it, it’s just too lame.

The local station near me has started adveritising their weatherman as the salient reason to watch their news. A whole 30 second ad will go something like this:

Announcer: Mitch is always on top of your weather!
Random person 1: Whenever I need to know if it’s going to snow tomorrow, I check out Mitch on channel 9.
Random person 2: I get the feeling he really understands New England weather!
Random person 3: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made weekend plans only after I listen to Mitch tell us whether it’s going to rain or not.

And so on.


Does anyone under 50 watch local news anyway?

I live in northern California. For the great part of the year, there’s really not a lot of need to ever watch the weather.

Sure. For information on local government (school boards are very local), the latest gang activity, local sports teams and weather.

Plus the water-skiing squirrel at the end.


I do, but only because it’s on at work. TV still has the jump on us newspapermen, what with their “live coverage” and their “incredibly shallow reporting”.

My wife and I were on the local news, we were even a hyped feature. We had a massive carbon monoxide incident in the house, and our CO detector kept our family from going to bed that night and not waking up the next morning. I told a bunch of people at work about it, one of them had a spouse who worked at the local ABC station, they called and asked if we would agree to be a feature story.

The head anchor and his camerawoman and producer came to the house to interview us and get the shots for the piece. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought it was a Candid Camera piece. He was the STUPIDEST person I think I have ever encountered. OK - outside of forums. ;) I tried to explain to him, in very simple terms, what had caused the CO to build up in the house, and he just could not get it. His camera person and producer kept trying to help him understand, and he would bluster yeah yeah. They basically wrote his questions and comments for him, and even then it took him forever to read them correctly.

We still laugh when we see him anchoring the news, and joke about whether he understood some multisyllabic word he just used.

I wanna see a human being on my TV set
Want some action for the fat and thin man
They’re getting closer but they ain’t got robots yet
Just a hero with a smile like a tin man
No brains and no heart
Just just just
Pretty boys-on my TV screen
Teeth so white and hair so clean

From “Pretty Boys” by Joe Jackson

And people wonder why a growing number of people get their “news” from the Daily Show.