Let’s talk about the News. Back in my day, there was this thing called integrity. It was essential to any news program. If you wanted to convey news to someone, you looked the part, sounded the part, and, most importantly, made sure your story was true and verifiable before you broadcast it.
Today, I’m not even sure that news is news. Oh, sure, there are stories about this trade agreement and those people got shot and how horrible these conditions are, although I’m not sure that last one counts as conditions there (where ever it is) have been so bad for so long, it can’t really be considered news. Or, if we’re honest, trade agreements aren’t really news, as such, if you think about it. They’re more of a “Mad Libs” story. “Today, [Country A] made / broke an agreement with [Country B] causing [Country C] to become upset.” As much as I hate to admit it, the getting shot thing isn’t much better. Although, I really don’t like hearing about people getting shot. I’m not saying, “don’t tell me!” I’m saying, “let’s stop shooting people!” I know. I know. A completely radical concept, right?
But it’s not just those things that bother me. It’s news that pretends to be news. Not “fake news.” I think that is stories that are completely ficitious for the purpose of making someone look bad. Although that guy in the oval office doesn’t need to have things made up about him to make him look bad. He’s doing a pretty good job of that all by himself! No, I mean things like what CNN did a few weeks ago. CNN used to be, in my mind, anyway, a trusted name in news. Now, though, there was an image and a few links on their website that just pushed them off a cliff as far as integrity goes.
The main story had an image and a link to “50 Years Later: ‘One Giant Leap’ author on the impact of Apollo 11’s moon mission.” It’s an anniversary thing and 50 years is an important anniversary. So, that part, while not really news, is fine. It’s the other links included with it.
“Jada Pinkett Smith says she didn’t want to marry Will Smith.” That’s not news. At all. It’s a piece about an entertainment couple. Will Smith, I’ll grant you, is one of the biggest stars on the planet. His (apparently) ex-wife didn’t like him. My guess would be that’s why she’s an “ex.” The fact that she didn’t want to get married in the first place… why should we even care? I’m not knocking her. I’m saying it’s none of my business.
The third one was just asinine. “Cookie Monster sings during 7th-inning stretch at Wrigley Field: ‘C is for Cubbies'” Now, I love Cookie Monster and baseball. But this is, in no way, news. News is supposed to be important. News is supposed to be information that you need to continue with life. “We’ve declared war on Country C” is news. “The stock market crashed and money will cease to exist on Friday” is news. A Muppet sang for people, no matter which one or where, is not news.
But it’s not just CNN, of course. I could start on a rant about Fox “News” but I won’t. I will point out that in 2004, Florida’s 13th district court case number 2D01-529, New World Communications of Tampa Inc. vs. Jane Akre stated that Fox could state false information as news while claiming to be news – because somehow it’s legal to lie. That’s not where I need to go right now. I’m not happy enough, right now. I don’t need more.
No, I’m referring to apps like “Smart News.” That was a good idea when I got it. It collates news stories from “all news sites” and puts them on your screen to peruse at your leisure. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Except for a few things. Now I will give it props for having categories, like World, Sports and Entertainment. But it doesn’t seem to be able to separate those very well. On my phone, it would give four article links per page. I opened the app to look for news and page one had two news stories and two about “The Avengers: Endgame.” Sigh. Great movie, but not news. Page two, four stories about “The Avengers: Endgame.” Still not news. Pages three through TEN had three stories that were NOT “The Avengers: Endgame” related. One was a fluff piece about large Asian models. THIS IS NOT NEWS!
Yes, I know I sound somewhat hypocritical since I do a podcast about movie news. But, as I just stated there, it’s MOVIE news. I do not, in any way, try to pass off that show as really important news. It isn’t. It’s fun. It’s entertainment. But it’s not really news-news.
If you want real news-news, get on YouTube and look for old footage of Walter Cronkite. THAT was the face of news. No propaganda. No entertainment. No opinions. Just the news. The facts. That’s what we need in our news again.