Monday, November 5, 2012

Wish TV would police itself

Here it is, the day before the general presidential elections, Nov. 5, 2012. As it has been days before, and now even worse today, there are commercials after commercials running to promote the ideas of the GOP and Democratic candidates and, even more so, to destroy the opposite side's character.

These are the same commercials, running constantly, enough to irritate and actually drive viewers like me away from the television set.

The sad part is, all of these commercials pushing their venomous messages are paid for by money of only a few individuals, making me think they are trying to buy the election. But that's a subject for the editorial blog.

Here's the message for Media Muddle blog....

C'mon, National Association of Broadcasters, why don't your members get together and set some standards to protect your viewers from a constant barrage of these messages that bring us to the corssover from free speech to harassment?  Why don't you regulate it, and permit only a specific number of transmissions of such a message per a specified time period, before they can be transmitted again?

I am watching WGAL, Channel 8 in Lancaster, PA., to base this complaint, but I am sure all the other stations are participating.  I realize your stations are making a lot of money by accepting these spots, but don't forget you may be driving some viewers away.

While everyone else in politics is participating in such ludicrous behavior that I can only describe as child-like, why can't the NAB members "man-up" and act like responsible adults and actually be responsible to your viewers????

Just because the politicians and Super PACs play in the mud doesn't mean you have to. Be responsible for a change.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's news and what's entertainment?

Both of the national political conventions are now over, and I have just one statement to make:

"Thank God for C-Span."

I had a television channel to go to where I could sit as a witness and watch the proceedings of the conventions without interruption.

Actually, I was watching from two sources at the same time ... for the purpose of comparison. With cable and commercial on-air networks, not only were you subjected to only brief blocks of programming, but also the constant chatter of people who call themselves journalists and "experts" and bureau chiefs and God-only-knows what else.

On the regular channels, the chatter included how people were dressed, what their demeanor was, and what they should say when the speak to make sure "people" (I am assuming they mean me and all other viewers who they apparently regard as "dumb") got a full picture of events. What did the people do earlier, what off-the-cuff comments they may have made, and how appropriate was it for them to be there. Good grief, everything but the kitchen sink got thrown in. 

And, by all means, let's not rule out the opinions of these so-called professionals.  Did you notice you only heard uninterrupted speeches by those they determined to be important?  To hell with us, the viewers, to determine what we think is important.

And also, after a speech by a participant whom the"media gods" deemed as important to be heard, we hear a re-hashed, deeply edited, abbreviated version of what the participant just said, and of course the "journalist's" opinion as to whether or not it was of importance to us ... the dumb viewers.

I want facts.  When I hear a speech, I want to digest it for what it is, not have someone attempt to twist and interpret it and to spin it to their point of view. True journalists present facts, and their audience, whether TV, radio or print, have the God-given right to take those facts and apply it to their lives and form their own opinions about it.

It's obvious today's media "anchors" and "reporters" and "experts" are pompous, condescending, and feel we will flounder if they don't deliver their opinions. They are as delusional as the members of Congress have become. The only difference between the two groups is that the media news people really feel they have good intentions. Congress is just plain corrupt.

As I said, "Thank God for C-Span."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics TV coverage "irritating"

I watched the NBC-TV coverage of the International Olympics' opening ceremonies on Friday evening, just like millions of others. But I had to cringe often.

Don't get me wrong. I thought the ceremonies were great, original, and well done. But all through it I had to listen to the constant dribble jabber of no less than three commentators ... Meredith Viera, Bob Costas, and Matt Lauer. I mean dribble. Irritating dribble.

There is no class act here with American network personalities.  They talk down at me.  They describe everything as if I and the rest of their audience are stupid. They try to plant their own opinion in our heads instead of just giving us the facts and let us draw our own opinions.

United States TV personalities feel like they have to talk all the time -- the dreaded fear of "dead airtime." Sorry, it isn't radio, it is television. There is plenty of time to let an event play out as it happens, instead of someone talking in my ear above the sounds of the event saying that this is the portion of the ceremonies that are the most moving. Well, that sure let it be less moving.

Why can't our TV personalities get their heads out of their asses (THEY think their heads are high in the clouds) and have the class that commentators in Great Britain have? The British personalities treat their viewers with dignity and only provide important background information on the event and let the viewers enjoy it as it unfolds.

I first got a taste of the British TV's class act during the funeral services and  march for Princess Diana.  I saw two versions ... that feeding from NBC in the United States, and the BBC telecast that was picked up by a U.S. cable channel and rebroadcast.  What a difference.  The BBC version was classy, solemn, informative, and let the unfolding events be absorbed by their viewers as it should be, with commentators giving just brief background information -- and never conversation between commentators.  On the same event coverage on our side of the pond, the anchors and reporters where constantly talking and, what is so irritating, they were talking back and forth to each other, forcing the viewer to take a back seat and overhear the gossip.

C'mon, U.S. "journalists."  Do your viewers a real service by keeping your comments and opinions to yourselves and give us background facts to help absorb what is going on.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

News channels are not news channels

I long for the old days when CNN, which stood for Cable News Network, actually presented a fair balanced picture of the news going on around us. I long for the day when Headline News Network, CNN's spin-off, meant just that: It gave you a brief glimpse of the days' news in a short format, and repeated and updated the items on the go.

Today, CNN, HNN, Fox News (which, jokingly, says it is "fair and balanced" -- and that should be red flag to anyone who has any smarts that if someone has to remind you they are fair and balanced, they probably are not) and MSNBC are far worse than the print media.

Today, as an example, on a morning CNN news show, a panel was discussing if the news media played up the New Hampshire Primary race far more important and exciting than it was in the minds of New Hampshire citizens. They toss the blame around as if they aren't part of the news "media." They are part of the news media. They so full of themselves they stick darts in their own butts and think that is news.

Another example, on the same show, the host gives a promo statement to viewers before a commercial break: "And we'll be back with which primary candidate struck an unfair blow at the New York Times."

How blatantly slanted can one be? If you are a true journalist, committed to the reporting of the events around the world that affect our lives, you actually REPORT it, not COMMENT on it. The simple word "unfair" in his statement tells you this person's qualifications and intentions. All that had to be said was "...with the candidate that struck a blow at the New York Times." After you present the facts, you let the viewers or readers make up their mind if it was unfair or not.

The most disservice to the founding principles of journalism has been the cable media, ever since one person dedicated to the truth, Ted Turner, relinquished his ownership of CNN and HNN.

That being said, it is also unfortunate that the average citizen in this country has been deluged with so many facts and opinions that the only thing to gain their attention is a good headline-making match or operation. So, to cater to the average viewer and continue to hold them, the cable media has to continue upping the ante of controversialism.

And they can do it with some legitimate excuse: The politics of the elections and our governments in general NEED to get attention, because without it this country and its economy are going to collapse.

Just like many of us believe General Motors and Chrysler and the big banks that all got bailouts, no matter temporary or not so they would not fail, should NOT have gotten bailouts, so must the corrupt political structure of this country and its artificially-created economy be allowed to collapse. Good, decent, responsible companies would have formed and risen up to take their place,and so would a government more responsible to its people rise up.

We are on the road to destruction and we're near the end. The clueless, so-called "news media" is just helping the train gain speed.

And, by the way, this is an OPINION, a COMMENTARY, and I didn't post it in the NEWS section. There is a difference that the cable news networks are so corrupt to see.