Perpetrators of Distraction: CNN & the News
Posted on July 25, 2013
Just when you thought Honey Boo Boo or Honey BooBoo Kitty or whatever the heck she calls herself was gone, she’s back. And I have no idea what a Honey Boo Boo is nor do I care to find out. Dorien Grey doesn’t give her existence much credence either, so I feel safe in my ignorance. Then there’s the royal baby. It’s a boy. They’re still talking about him. The gay press even ran an article saying the Brits wouldn’t be opposed to a gay heir to the throne. Why did that even have to come up? And, alright, who’s reading the story? Detroit made the news for all the wrong reasons again and it just isn’t dying down. Did the governor intend all along for the city to go into bankruptcy? Did he do an end run around the rules in hiring the emergency manager? Is the state going to use its influence to quash the lawsuits against the bankruptcy? Did Justin Bieber do anything else stupid this week? Oh, and Zimmerman apparently helped someone out of an overturned vehicle.
Of the many questions that arise from the list of items above, I’m going to narrow them down to two. First, are we really this fascinated by these stories? Or two, is this just the shit the media is constantly pushing before our eyes? I’ve never understood the fascination people have for reality TV. There’s nothing real about it. And that fascination has been manufactured. Ask any Hollywood actor. Reality TV was started because it was cheap to produce and could potentially haul in hefty profits. It was as empty-souled then as it is today, only now we have reality TV celebrities. These are people whose opinions we’re supposed to care about, but whose mental aptitude all have the depth of Kim Kardashian when she said “I don’t like big balls on a dog.”
I like my female friends to possess intelligence and use it. Kinda goes without saying that Kim and I don’t hang.
Now, I wake up most morning with a burning desire to know what’s going on in the world. Or rather I have a desire to pee and then a burning desire to see what’s being released on Blu-Ray that week or the next. It’s inevitable that I’ll also check the news because sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something of relevance. I don’t care that Justin Bieber peed into a bucket in some restaurant. Unless you have pictures of his member so I can point and chuckle, then I don’t care. I don’t need to know how fast he was driving through his neighborhood. I don’t need to know how late he showed up to one of his concerts. That’s not news nor is it newsworthy.
The funny thing is that when I think about news or how news is supposed to matter, I think about it terms of a very idealistic way that journalists have denounced as not very journalistic; The Newsroom. If there was as much integrity that went into what got put on the air as portrayed in the show, the news would be much more interesting to watch and read. Can you imagine what would happen if we had Presidential debates like the one depicted in Season 1? What if we held politicians accountable for what they’ve said and done? What if we held others accountable?
I caught CNN on a restaurant television the other day when I was picking up carry-out and was disgusted. And by that I mean I was disgusted with CNN, not the food. These aren’t anchors. These are entertainers. They’re not news people. They’re actors. They’re not journalists. They’re perpetrators of distraction. And distraction is what it’s all about. Everybody was up in arms around the world that the US was eavesdropping on them (and us). Why? They’re all doing it. The US just happened to get caught with their britches down. Is it right? No. Are they going to push reasons at us as to why they should continue? Absolutely. And their ability to spy on us was just renewed.
So what does matter in the world or at least around us? How about the attack on what a woman has the right to do with her own body? How far will people be pushed before there’s another revolution of sorts? The GLBT community has had enough and look how far we’ve come in a decade. How about corporate greed? How about the people on Wall Street who haven’t been brought to justice yet for their part in the financial crisis? These are things that matter, not whether or not Anthony Weiner sent out more pictures of his Oscar Mayer.
Okay, I’ve vented. What matters to you? And for that matter, what are you tired of hearing about?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
12 Responses to “Perpetrators of Distraction: CNN & the News”
July 25, 2013 at 9:08 am
Think you’ve fairly well spoken for me on all of this, Kris. The world continues to go to hell in an increasingly large handbasket.
July 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm
What I wrote about was the only friggin’ thing that came to mind last night. I swear I’m becoming you a little at a time, D.
July 25, 2013 at 9:21 am
As a female, single parent, LGBT activist, anti-bullying proponent, and Autism/LD supporter, I’m more worried about the gubernatorial race we have going on in VA than hearing about Justin Bieber or the Kardashians. I watch two reality shows – Ink Master and Face Off. Why? Because I have seen some damn good art. The rest of reality TV is nothing more than making idiots famous. Heck, I’d rather watch the Cartoon Network most days. And, I agree with you on everything you said.
July 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm
I’ll take Scooby Doo any day over the crap that’s on TV. Okay, I have been known to watch Hell’s Kitchen, but that’s honestly because I like listening to Gordon Ramsey swear.
Joelle Casteel says:
July 25, 2013 at 10:17 am
You what I watch reality shows for- as background noise while I’m eating because it’s hard to sit with a laptop on my lap and eat at the same time. I do admit to “Sister Wives” because I value the representation of poly (even if the Browns are living a form of polygamy) but yeah, perpetrators of distraction- love the phrase, Kris, and yeah, I agree with your points. Everything that I feel important? Not on the main news stations
July 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I’ll put on music for background noise. It’s far more pleasing, especially if it’s instrumental. If not, I’ll catch myself listening to the song lyrics.
Joelle Casteel says:
July 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm
well music is more common- after all, music is part of what I regulate my bipolar with. But when it comes to eating, I want the visual part, hence TV, and trying to find something. Yes, we have UVerse- gods, if there’s actually anything on lol
Patricia Logan says:
July 25, 2013 at 11:29 am
As always, well said, Kris. You certainly are humming with opinion today. I would love to see you do the news. Now that would be the reality show I’d watch. Or better yet, a set up like Jane Curtain and Dan Akroyd from SNL. I can hear it now. I would give my opinion and you would turn to me and say “Patti you ignorant slut!” Oh, wait. You already do that. LOL
July 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm
roflmao! I could totally see us doing that. We could be the post Daily Show anchors or some such thing. You and I have a gift for humor when played off each other. As long as it entertains, how can it go wrong?
JP Adkins says:
July 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Oh so many ways. But it would make good entertainment. How about a web series? We can somehow do side by side Google hangouts?
July 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm
I am tired of hearing about Anthony Weiner’s weiner. I do not care if he has a freaking out fetish or likes his women young dumb and wanting his cum.
July 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm
I personally don’t want any woman to want my…you know.