July 11, 2005

Because it's not really weather until Geraldo shows up

So, the family took a long weekend to travel hither and yon across our fair state, visiting grandparents and eating fatty restaurant food.

Being cut off from the online world is usually something I look upon as either "a nice vacation" or "a necessary evil," depending on what's going on. Since last Thursday, the day we left, was marked by terrorists trying to blow up London, I was definitely in the "necessary evil" and moving toward "extreme and painful withdrawal" camp.

But there was always the sweet, sweet balm of cable news to tide me over, right?


WRONG. Do you know what I was confronted with each and every time I tried to access some 24 hour news? A freaking rainstorm, that's what! And don't give me, a survivor of Hurricanes Hugo and Fran, any guff about being "insufficiently concerned" about the "dire peril" of my "Florida neighbors." Listen. Those folks know how to handle themselves in hurricanes. They do not need troops of morons driving around in SUVs across flooded highways, reporter-esses in cutesy ball caps pointing to debris with exclamations that run along the lines of, "Boy, that wind sure did blow hard," Soledad O'Brien's "concerned face," which is possibly the scariest thing I have ever seen on television, OR Geraldo freaking Rivera standing on a beach in the panhandle being, well, Geraldo freaking Rivera! GAH! DOUBLE GAH!

People were being blown up! And all I got was shot after shot of stupid ass no talent talking heads having their immobile hairdos teased by a stiff breeze. Screw you guys! Had Soledad and Geraldo actually been blown into the sea and swept out of sight, well, THAT might have been newsworthy. It definitely would have renewed my faith in a wise and omnipotent Almighty.

Sigh. Anybody out there wanna buy me a laptop with wireless?

Posted by Big Arm Woman at July 11, 2005 02:46 PM

You're not in the target demographic for MSM news, is all. They're behaving rationally. The MSM sell audience, not news.

The biggest audience, if no towers are falling, is soap opera women, which is a minority of women (40%) but the largest audience available.

People say they want hard news, but people don't tune in unless there's actually news. Nobody tunes in for city council meeting results.

So, since you have to produce audience day in and day out to pay the bills, the soap audience is the best you can do. That's the MSM business model.

Whether, in the absence of soap, any viable audience exists, is an open question. Probably it does not.

The proper response in any case is mocking the audience for this crap, not mocking the producers of it. The producers know it's crap. They know also that their attainable audience likes crap.

The soap audience requires that the story line be simple, and that they can relate to it. The simpler and more relatable-to, the better.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at July 12, 2005 03:30 AM

It's hard to parody something that already parodies itself, but Chris Pirillo manages the trick nicely here.

Posted by: Lex at July 12, 2005 03:12 PM