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The Morning Grumpy – December 1st

Filed under: Morning Grumpy
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All the news that fit to read during your morning grumpy.

1. I rarely watch local TV news. Why? Because it’s almost uniformly uninformative and trite, programmed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I encourage you to stop watching it as well. You’re better off reading the daily newspaper, even though that seems a bit of an informational Sophie’s Choice. Which is why I loved this link and want to share it with you.

Let’s talk news. And where the majority of Americans – as in over 50 percent (by most estimates) – still get their news – from their local nightly news show. Any discussion about how unaware Americans are when it comes to news needs to have its finger pointed at the proper culprit: Your local broadcast.

What are the local broadcasts missing?

The actual local news: Investigative news in the public interest. News about the economy, politics and local issues.

Your local news opts to put a camera in the face of a crime victim and be a staple of “fear porn” rather than ever tackle difficult segments holding the school board/city council/mayor/state legislature/governor accountable for anything.

Now, you might retort with, “Hey, Channel 2 is on OUR side and they even have a segment called ‘Holding People In Power Accountable’!” Well, if you’re honestly arguing that point, come at me, bro. Let’s do this in the comments section.

2. Absolutely fascinating data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll on attitudes about Obamacare. My favorite part is how the public overwhelmingly supports almost every single individual provision of the healthcare bill, even Republicans favor most of the specific programs. What does that mean? Americans are ignorant and the media does little to explain public policy to them and instead focuses on horserace campaign coverage and other sensational crap. Read the full poll results here.

3. The secret to Newt Gingrich’s surge in the Republican Presidential primary? Old people. Newt resonates with old people and the tail end of the baby boomer generation who most likely just want the government to keep their god-damned hands off their Medicare. This has led to massive surges for Newt in states where old people are the most reliable constituency, like Florida and South Carolina. As long as he doesn’t puke on his shoes and stays competitive in Iowa and NH, he heads into South Carolina and Super Tuesday as the frontrunner and probable nominee. As an aside, that whole baby boomer/love child/60’s hippie thing really shat the bed on America, didn’t it?

4. So, this happened.

Yes, that’s Stanley from “The Office“. It’s at least six kinds of awesome.

Fact Of The Day: On December 1st, 1918, Henry Ford launched the world’s first moving assembly line. In 1955, a humble seamstress named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, was arrested and launched the seminal Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Quote Of The Day: “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” – Henry Ford

Song Of The Day: “The Wait” by The Pretenders


  • Max

    I’m with you on local broadcast news which adheres to either “if it bleeds, it leads” or “happy talk” methodologies. The Tina Depuy piece really nailed it. Thanks, Alan.

  • Alan Bedenko

    Chris wrote this. Maybe the bylines need embiggening?

    Anyhow, I watch local news for the sweet deals on laptops and to watch hausfraus test products. Because slickdeals.net and the Consumerist / Consumer Reports totally don’t exist.

  • @Alan…the bylines defintely need embiggening and it would be great if the author was listed out front so you can see who wrote the story before you click on it.

    @Chris – I stopped watching Channel 2 News awhile ago BECAUSE the “Holding People In Power Accountable” meme became annoying. It became antagonistic journalism. It felt like they wanted to be apart of the story more than they wanted to report the story. This practice would definitely make my old Journalism Prof puke on Newt’s shoes. I agree, it is choice of story and the crime victim’s headshot that ruins the news casts. I get most of my news online now.

  • c

    After years of not being informed by the horrible local news I have come up with my 3 step ritual to learn wtf is going on in the area .
    1. 970 AM has a good but short local news segment at 5 min. after the hour and 1/2 hour during Morning Edition
    2. TiVo the 5 AM ch. 4 news hour . They are WAY heavy on “mommy news” – bake sales, school stuff, endless weather, a few real news stories IF they think the other shows will one up them but you can fast forward after 5 mins. to 5:30 when they give a tiny bit more info . Keep the finger on FF and dump it after the first round of stories .
    3. Use the internet to read the Buff. News AFTER 9 AM because they hold stuff back to pump up early morning paper sales . Artvoice once a week will fill in a lot of holes in the stuff you first read in the Buff. News because the News will be careful not to piss off people like Rich Bob and the bitch that he married . Major league baseball team if you build my minor league team a stadium you can’t afford not withstanding .
    Google News page will fill in the rest of the world news .

  • Mike

    The local news in my day was only on for 30 min, 15 news, 5 sports and 5 weather. Fire in Blackrock! Pistol packing punks! It was always fun going to Gleason’s resturant at 11:25pm and harassing Tom Jolls with your car horn. Sorry kids you missed all the fun.