Title This Post and WIN BIG! -Contest Closes Aug. 29-
So why am I writing this, if I've got nothing to say? A better question would be "Why are you reading this after I've told you I've got nothing to say?" Still a better question would be "Why do so many people accept it when someone answers their question with another question?"
I hate hearing talk show hosts and newsanchors jack themselves off with crap like "We ask the tough questions", "We get to the heart of the matter", and "CNN: The Most Trusted Name in News".
First off, you don't want to ask the tough questions. The tougher a question is, the more likely it is the overpaid bureaucrat with the shit-eating grin you're asking will compliment you on what a good question it was and then throw a completely irrelevant question back at you. If they're any good at their job, their reply question won't just be completely off-topic, but rhetorical, and filled with so many unnecessary adjectives and buzzwords that you'll totally forget what you were talking about. Keep it simple. Be unnervingly sarcastic. Use "finger quotes" around inappropriate "words". And for fuck's sake, when you ask a yes or no question, and haven't gotten either answer after 15 seconds of "complicated issue this" and "enemies of democracy that", cut their mic and move on.
The "heart of the matter" gripe falls under the general cynical umbrella of Cheesy Buzzwords. The word "heart", though by no means alone in this category, has been "torn out and stepped on" more than any other, with the possible exception of "freedom". Now we can't just blame the newsanchors here. Virtually all of us have glorified that organ at one time or another, in corny poetry or cliches. But there's a certain sickness you get, if not properly jaded, when you see a rich man in a commercial put on his "serious" face, and cordially invite you to "get to the heart of the matter" with him for that one half-hour block that matters to his boat payments. "Get to the heart" of the Mideast turmoil. Watch the "heart" of those "brave, fighting men and women" who have done billions of dollars in damage to Iraq and murdered over 100,000 of its people. Bid your "heartfelt goodbye" to that one single "American hero" you "met" through a "special report". And God forbid, never stop worrying about the "Axis of Evil" striking in America's "heartland". A heart doesn't give you courage. It doesn't stand for determination, or love. And there sure isn't a giant one buried in the Midwest that keeps 300 million people fed and clothed. No, the heart simply pumps blood, while the "heart" simply pimps blood.
As for CNN now, the "most trusted name in news", there's almost too much to rant about this early in the morning, so I'll just stick to that slogan. First off, it's arrogant and patronizing to the viewers. Sure, if you've got a brain in your head, you know they're not talking to YOU directly. YOU don't have to trust CNN. But for every whole brain out there, there are two halfs nearby. THEY have to trust CNN because, well, it said they should. And if more people trust it than any other station, then it must be infallible. And THEY turn to it in times of crisis (real or unduly propogated), and prostrate themselves before the omnipotent voice of Anderson Cooper. But that's more a gripe with half-brained people than with the slogan. The real problem I have with that tagline is that it puts more importance on being trusted than accurate. I'm not saying Paula Zahn is a deceitful bitch or anything, or that Lou Dobbs is a smug bigot prick (OK, I am saying that), but I don't think it bothers Ted Turner or any of the other execs a bit when they watch the neverending stream of American propoganda flow across their monitors and into millions of living rooms across the world, or when one of their drinking buddies from the Senate takes a huge shit directly in the ears of his constituents. No, as long as their key demographic still trusts them, and allows them to charge their advertisers increasingly abhorent amounts of cash, they'll just keep spewing it. Lastly, CNN may very well be telling the truth in their slogan, if you equate ratings with trust, but they fail to admit that they won that fight by default. CNN has been around longer than any 24-hour news channel. The letters CNN are as interchangeable with the word "news", in many eyes, as Kleenex is with facial tissue. Why? What are the options? Sure, Canada has the CBC, the U.S. has FOX, the UK has the BBC, and a hundred or so other countries have their own channels. But CNN is right there with all of them. Not only the sole news channel readily available anywhere on the planet, but the only channel of any kind. You don't need to be a mathematician; common sense alone should tell you that with that kind of global exposure, you're definitely going to get viewers. But so does WWE. That doesn't mean millions of people believe in The Undertaker. That just means at least a small chunk of the population of every country you broadcast in are more interested in listening to people who knew someone who lived next to John Karr's high school science teacher for three straight days, than in seeing what's happening to the world surrounding the United Bubble of America.
Huh...this thing turned out to be pretty long. By the time I finished the first paragraph, I thought for sure that was it, and there was no point. But lo and behold, I asked myself a stupid question, and had to respond with another.
Anyway, fuck Lou Dobbs!