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what colour was their hair?

May 17, 2011

I have mixed feelings as I post this.  Sunshine is joyfully tumbling through the

office window and there’s no rain predicted for a week.  The Giants are in first

place.  The Canucks are up 1 – 0 in the NHL Western Finals.  Most all is right with

the world.


My most urgent worry today is the overflow from the Mississippi River deluging

the Atchafalaya River Basin in Lousiana.  Authorities had opened 15 of 125 gates

of the Morganza Spillway by last night, diverting about a quarter million gallons

of water a second from the largest river system in North America.  This will hope-

fully save Baton Rouge and New Orleans from flooding.


Problem is, redirecting the Big Muddy means 20,000 to 25,000 homes in the rural

but huge basin will likely go under water.  The colourful bayou fishing camps have

emptied out as residents grabbed what they could and fled.  For the third time in

six years, the Pelican State is facing a monumental disaster.


Lousiana is where I came of age, where I first married, where both my kids were

born.  I still have a lot of friends there.  You can understand my concern.


So right after I woke up this morning, I turned on CNN for an update.  And guess

what the best news network ever was most concerned with: that Arnold Schwarze-

negger knocked up his housekeeper.


If there are any children reading, please skip this next paragraph.


FUCK!


I don’t use the word lightly, but there’s no other word to accurately portray my

disgust.  I watched for as long as I could stomach it, about 20 minutes.  There was

no news about the flooding.  CNN did run a segment about how to ask for a raise,

and actually had three guys analyze the Schwarzenegger “blockbuster”.  As if any

guy boinking his maid was that weighty.


I evacuated from this barrage of bullshit to the higher ground of the net, where at

least I have some control over content.  CNN continues to disappoint me as it races

Fox News to the lowest possible point in reportage.  Just as I thought it was safe to

get back in the water as Trump the Shark swam away (again), I find that CNN isn’t 

going to mention the water at all.


The tabloidization of U.S. news certainly isn’t new.  In the 60’s Abbie Hoffman

wrote about reading a headline in the New York Daily News that said “BRUNETTE

STABBED TO DEATH”.  Below it was another headline: “6000 Killed in Iranian

Earthquake”.  “I wonder what color hair they had?”, he pondered.

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2 Comments
  1. Chris permalink
    May 18, 2011 11:52 pm

    Allen, I share your disgust with the media! Nina and I were watching Global news this evening – no mention of the current state of Libya, Louisiana or anywhere else for that matter. Just oodles of coverage of the “Sperminator” (their term) and fatuous remarks on the subject by various “pundits”. I remarked to my good wife that with media, as in politics we get what we deserve – for putting up with the former and electing the latter.

    Bah! Humbug!

    • May 20, 2011 11:38 am

      It seems like in both professions, there aren’t sufficient consequences for negative behaviour.

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