Monday, March 2, 2009

Then, My Head Exploded

If I sound a bit cranky, you'll have to forgive me. I've been up since 4AM, thanks to Fiona. As many know, Fiona will eat anything. The tire off an 18 wheeler would be no match for Fi should she care to test its culinary merit. I guess whatever she found out in the yard, while we were on poop patrol and not watching, was simply too wonderful to resist. Although, this early morning, we all wish she'd shown some moderation. Especially poor Boy Dog: she yaked all over Rory while he laid there in his doggy slumber. Nice. Very Nice.

If it was that rank coming back up, you have to wonder what the appeal could have been to start. But, I digress. Let's just say, that my sweet, adorable (yes, that's sarcasm you hear,) Fi, who is one of the most pragmatic animals with whom I have shared the realm, has set the world in its correct balance once more. For, while I have been sore of heart over the recent demise of Dashel Dog, this morning Fiona made me question the sanity of owning a dog at all! Thanks a lot there, Girlie...

So, while I do the laundry, yes we had to strip the bed since I was foolish enough to think three times was the charm and it was safe to put her in bed with us, I figure I might as well talk about what is really making me twitch. This whole business with my dog is just the cherry on top.

Yesterday, I watched a PBS show where worlds collided. No, not one of those nature shows. Not any of those that speculate about the moment the Big Bang sounded the shot that started all this. Not programs that postulate about the natural catastrophes likely when this world is done. Nope, nothing like that.

No, I was witnessing the end of the world as we know it thanks to a musical moment. In the form of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith standing sedately next to Chris Botti while he softly accompanied Tyler's sweet and soulful rendering of, "Smile." Yep, you heard me. Tyler being sweet. Singing a standard. With the Boston Pops Orchestra at his back. Anyone else find this life altering?

Okay, so while I was sitting in my chair attempting to process all the input and racing thoughts, Michael changes the channel and we park on a CBS affiliate. We hit during the commercial break. Let's travel back in time for a sec...

When I was a kid, Walter Cronkite, the anchorman for the CBS Evening News, sat in our living room EVERY night. We referred to him as, 'Uncle Walter' as in "Let's see what Uncle Walter has to say about things tonight." Each night, the phrases, "Good Evening, I'm Walter Cronkite," coupled with, "And that's the way it is, this (fill in the blank date,) Good night," helped provide clarity and understanding to our world. It was complicated then...things like the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK's assassination, Vietnam...just don't want you to think it was easier or less complicated to be a journalist back then. It certainly, wasn't.

Cronkite is still, in my opinion, one of the most credible news men that has ever been. He ranks up there with Huntley & Brinkley, Morrow and other men of that generation, who ethically understood that their job was to report the news. Not make it. Not color it. Not slant it. NO! Their job was, strictly, to present the news. Give the facts so that both sides of each story were fairly presented. More importantly, Cronkite and newsrooms then, did not determine for us, what was the news. They didn't decide what you should know. If it happened, they told you about it. We made up our own minds. Able to take a stand on any issue. We had, as Detective Joe Friday of Dragnet always insisted, "Just the facts."

One of the saddest nights of my young life was when Mr. Cronkite signed off for the last time. It was like a trusted friend had moved away. Leaving a cub reporter in his venerable seat; leaving Dan Rather to follow in his huge footsteps. And, we all know how that turned out. 'Nuff said.

So, back to sitting in my chair, minding my own business, watching television commercials. Still processing Tyler next to Botti, when a commercial for a new DVD comes on. A stunning, new DVD which highlights all the wonderful moments of the Obama campaign and race to the White House. Highlights of the inauguration and his most famous speeches. The announcer goes on and on while images flicker past.

And maybe it was because of what I had just watched, but all my brain kept shouting is, "Holy Crap, they've turned the President into a Rock Star!" What the F? Mr. Obama's the President of the United States and now has a rockin' DVD of his highlights and performance moments to date!? But, that's not what made my head explode...nah, that only made it pulse harder than Tyler's performance.

What caused the sharp pain behind my eyes was hearing who produced the DVD; it was proudly produced and promoted by CBS! The Columbia Broadcasting System is hawking a DVD of all the wondrous moments of the Obamas brought to you by their stellar 60 Minutes coverage of this new American icon!

Am I the only one who has a problem with a major network excitedly doing something this bizarre? A network that already has major problems in their news division? One of the founding networks who has, as of yesterday, further eroded my ability to view them as credible and unbiased? And, that's pretty impressive because I didn't think it was possible after the whole Dan Rather mess.

What the hell is going on here? Have they completely lost their minds? Because it certainly seems they have totally lost their perspective. And, my trust.

To be fair, it could be argued that 60 Minutes is not part of the nightly news division, although it is referred to as a "news program." I suppose CBS could argue that 60 Minutes is produced for entertainment purposes. I'm not certain Mike Wallace or Morley Safer would like being told their journalistic endeavors are for amusement and not edification. I maintain, that without a background in media, (yes, I have two degrees in it so I qualify,) the average person doesn't consider the difference. CBS News and 60 Minutes are very closely tied in the average person's perception. Both are painted with one broad brush as a news source.

Now that they've become rock star DVD producers, should CBS ever be trusted to broadcast the facts about President Obama and his performance in the White House without distortion and color? At a time when the facts, just facts, are desperately needed?

If I want to hear from Obama promoters, I'll talk to my friends who voted for him. On all topics, I trust my friends' opinions even when I don't agree. But, when I need facts? Who do I turn to now? What happens when we can no longer turn to news agencies for facts? Journalists and news agencies must be neutral, not jump on the promotion bus! We are living in a tinderbox with many of us walking around with struck matches! The world is volatile and highly charged. And, CBS wants to promote their new Obama Rock Star DVD... Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!

And, that's when... THEN, my head exploded.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Eileen said...

I have four words to put your head back together ... Jim Lehrer News Hour.

Opie said...

I think portions of the proceeds are going straight to the stimulus package.

chrisk said...

I agree with Opie and I think it's b.s!

Life With Dogs said...

Tyler and Botti together? Ouch!

melissa said... vomit, the news, and the government all in the same post. Are they related? Could be...

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