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March 29th, 2006

Boycotting Local News

A few days ago I decided: I’m done with local news.

Perhaps it’s just having been subjected to the worst local news broadcast ever, but I’ve become very soured to local newscasts. There’s almost no investigative journalism done anymore, they never ask real questions, and if I ever hear the interstitial sound effect of fingers on a keyboard during an Internet-themed story, I’m going to kill someone.

It should be noted that I don’t watch national news, either, so I guess you could say I’m boycotting all TV news. When I feel like Jon Stewart’s the only TV person I trust to give me news, there’s something wrong.

So, goodbye Lark McCarthy and your annoying intonation, goodbye Will Thomas and the smirk I don’t trust, and goodbye weather forecasters that I didn’t actually hate. I’m done with you for now.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday March 29, 2006 -- 10:03:36 am
What, their hard-hitting expose on dirty shopping carts didn't do it for you?

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday March 29, 2006 -- 10:22:33 am
Televised news is engineered primarily to frighten us, because that's what sells. I gave up watching televised news many years ago, and it's been liberating. I find if I watch even one newscast, suddenly I'm more suspicious of strangers, and nervous when I'm alone. Ridiculous.

Though I'd already stopped watching, reading Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner really brought home my reasons.

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday March 29, 2006 -- 10:45:09 am
Cat, I agree. I particularly dislike network news. When you have to set a story to music, you know they're messing with your thoughts and fears.

I do think however that the local Philadelphia stations do a decent job. I can still clearly picture Jim O'Brien, even after more than 20 years.

I just may order that book.

FROM: dave
DATE: Wednesday March 29, 2006 -- 4:41:14 pm
"Tonight on Fox 5...something you didn't know that can kill you!"

Every freakin' night.

I had the joy of watching CBC's The National every night for my news the last time I was in Maine. *That's* how a newscast should be done.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday March 29, 2006 -- 11:01:51 pm
jk -- I agree with you on the Philly newscasts. I think we've talked about this before -- ABC 6 in Philly has, by far, the best local newscast I've seen. I would lift my boycott for that broadcast.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 30, 2006 -- 12:12:17 pm
Does this work? Ahh..that feels better.

So about the newscasts: I always get a kick out of listening to Don and Mike rip the Fox 5 newscasts apart, especially when there is an inch of snow coming (BLIZZARD! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!).

In Philly, Channel 6 still rules. The Fox "news" is laughably bad. "Tonight - What American Idol contestant doesn't like Cheese?".

FROM: Merle [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 30, 2006 -- 11:19:26 pm
Any news channel that REPORTS THINGS IN ALL CAPS FOR MANY SENTENCES IN A ROW is to be shunned. Mocked. Jeered at. And, maybe, boycotted.

FROM: Lord Vader
DATE: Friday March 31, 2006 -- 2:10:02 am
Jon Stewart's The Daily Show is not only entertaining but it is a good source of news; Especially political news. Unless you are fiercely Republican, in which case you will be ridiculed mercilessly by his show.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Monday April 3, 2006 -- 12:25:43 pm
I stopped watching the local network news when I realized that they are a for profit business. They will do or say or even make up what ever they want to sell ad space to make money.

Chicago's PBS station WTTW 11 has a great news program, Chicago Tonight. They'll talk about local stories and have panel discussions about those stories with people who know what they're talking about. The best part, both sides of any controversial story are presented and you can decide for yourself.

By the way, I don't ever remember the term "hunker down" being used on the program.

FROM: Fern Jefferson
DATE: Friday June 2, 2006 -- 4:54:22 pm
In Maryland there is Baltimore City, with all of the typical inner city problems and Baltimore County, a surburb shaped like a toilet seat and linked by an interstate highway called the "beltway". The county is semi-nice with lots of pleasant outdoors. The reporters can cover the Baltimore area for years and they never learn the differance. The some of the tv stations are in place called "TV Hill". I can go from TV Hill to a junkie in five minutes yet I have yet to see any coverage of the drug problems near the studios. There was one business man in the area who used to cruise with a female junkie hanging off his truck. I won't go into why but you can think of what was happening.

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