Thursday, February 2, 2012

Does TV give you a headache?

I don't mean the volume of commercials which can grow INCREDIBLY LOUD nor do I mean the spasmodic filming of scenes that I guess is supposed to add to suspense. For the record, I pay attention to clever and cute commercials rather than loud ones and I like a well written script to create suspense. Loud or jerky are cheap tricks that don't cut it for me.

But that isn't what I was going to talk about today. It is content and what the media tells us is news....even if it isn't newsworthy.

I had a bout of insomnia a few nights ago and turned on ABC to a program called America This Morning. This airs from 4:00-4:30 AM and I don't want to be too critical (well, really I do, but I'm pretending) because I haven't seen this before and not likely to intentionally watch it again. Tuning in mid-segment, I have no idea who was being discussed other than it was a celebrity. Or at least a celebrity by early morning media standards. The male host was referring to someone calling a woman the 'H' word. The female host looked puzzled and said "the 'H' word? Do you mean 'whore'?" to which he said yes without batting an eye.


He doesn't know how to spell whore but uses it on a national program? Does someone feed him the stories through a headset? He can't be reading a teleprompter or surely he would have called the woman a wha-hor-ee since phonics works for him.

In the Detroit area right now, the big news is the murder of a woman from Grosse Pointe. Look up Jane Bashara if you are curious, but you may have already heard about it. The story has been mentioned on Good Morning America and Inside Edition, presumably because it happened in what is considered a wealthy community. If it had happened in Detroit or a small blue collar community, it wouldn't make national news unless the murderer filmed the event and was dressed like Sponge Bob Squarepants or something equally eye catching for news promos.

I digressed again. Sorry. I am not making fun of anyone's murder. I may comment in weeks or months ahead on this story and how locals are reacting that has nothing to do with what is seen or heard on TV, or I may spend my time more productively extracting lint from belly buttons around here.

The local NBC affiliate teased viewers all day long with an exclusive interview that tied into the murder story. Yes, we bit. We watched the 11:00 NBC news and recorded the ABC station to compare notes. Basic news coverage was the same but the interview was an exclusive. I was so excited I hurt myself yawning.

But what followed this report? Grammy winning jazz singer Anita Baker called the police who responded to her home in another part of Grosse Pointe. A woman had been seen peering in her windows and fumbling at her door. Let me make this clear, I am not making fun of Ms Baker. She did the right thing and I am glad there turned out to be a simple explanation. The woman was a cleaning lady on a new job and had the wrong address. It was a simple and honest mistake.

Why was any of that newsworthy?

Are you wondering exactly what set me off this morning and made me torture you with my opinions? Kelly Ripa. I know I am one of the five people in America who doesn't adore her but I keep my comments to myself even when hubby leaves the show on through the opening dialog so that he can make comments.  This morning she used the word 'discluded' at least 3 times and her guest co-host used it also. The context was to not include someone in a group. It isn't a widely accepted word in any dictionary but 'urban dictionary' online and on Facebook.

Lord, help us.

New words become legitimate out of common usage, usually with a technological spin. We all 'google' even if we use a different search engine and it wasn't that many years ago that 'texting' was a typo rather than an activity. But 'discluded'? Is it really too much to say 'not included'?

* Sigh *

I have no cleaning lady coming today so I am putting on my Sponge Bob outfit and killing some dust bunnies with or without a film crew. I may be discluded from the in crowd on Facebook with only 118 friends (it only took me 3 minutes to figure out how many friends I have on FB, something that was clearly apparent before they switched to the this Time Line business), but I can honestly say I am not a media wha-hor-ee.


Blondie's Journal said...

It's amazing what makes the news these days. I read it on Yahoo...I'm not much of a TV person and the headlines are outrageous. Just enough wierdness {not a word} to get you to open the page.

Great post!


SkippyMom said...

Oh please, please don't get me started. I was so happy when Regis retired [although I liked him] because she was so damn creepy with her "Big Daddy" this and "Oooh Daddy" that. Barf.

Good news on the commercial front tho'. They passed a law in the US that starting later this year advertisers are no longer allowed to up the volume of their commercials. They must match that of the program being aired. Thank goodness because muting the commercials gets old. And when I didn't sometimes they just scared the crud out of me.

Sewconsult said...

I'm right there with you! See, I said that we would have a great time together if we were neighbors. I can't stand Kelly, nor could I stand Regis. I use to like The View, but they can't get through the first 10 minutes without trying to scream over each other. Joy Bayhar has gotten worse since she was given her own show on CNN network. I spend more and more of my days at home without the TV on.

Rudee said...

I have no idea why there was so much interest in the Bashara case, either. I had the crime solved on the first night I heard the story break. It only took me 8.3 seconds to reach judgment. I knew her bastard husband did it for both the money and his ho.

Where would I be without both my scrabble AND my urban dictionary? I'd be lost on Words With Friends, that's for sure.