Thursday, October 12, 2006

An Example Of Everything That Is Wrong With Cable News (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hello all. As you can probably tell by my title I was not happy with the show, so hold onto your hats because this is going to be a harsh review. I guess that Joni Mitchell lyric applies to news too. You really don't know what you got till it's gone. I criticized Tuesdays' show for being high on speculation in regards to North Korea and Foley and today it's like, North Korea? What? Foley? Who? Just like that they're gone from the headlines as if they never existed in the first place. As if I even need to tell you, Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and an instructor crashed Lidle's small plane into a high rise building. A distress call was issued, but other than that details are sketchy. It was not terrorism. Is this story newsworthy? Absolutely. Is it worth this kind of coverage? Absolutely not. CNN does breaking news really well. They have people everywhere and a lot of resources. The problem is not only do they not know when to stop, they have no idea how to judge a story's importance and cover accordingly. This results in the network pursuing a story about a commercial plane that made a safe landing after having landing gear problems, with the same fervor they would cover a terrorist attack. It's ridculous. One also has to wonder if this would be all over the place if it was a nobody flying his plane into a building in, say, St. Louis.

We begin tonight with an Anderson piece on what we do know. The two occupants of the plane are dead and others are injured. New York City of course was freaked out. I can sympathize with that. It must have been horrible seeing what looked like 9-11 redux. We then move to a Tom Foreman piece that basically tells us we don't know what happened. There is a simulation on the plane ride though. Because that was really needed. After this Anderson interviews a witness. In the studio. WTF? The guy is also a pilot, but this is seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel for guests. No offense to the guy or anything. My comment has nothing to do with him personally.

On now to an old video of Lidle flying and narrating what he's doing. Creeepy. I hope none of his family or friends are watching this. We then have a piece on Lidle's life and after that we have a piece on the instructor's life. Oh no, wait, my bad. There is no piece on the instructor's life because he's not a sports figure and is therefore treated as an afterthought. I don't think we ever even learn his name, though I could be wrong on that. I am of course sad this guy has died, but I don't see how all this coverage about him is warranted. After the piece we have a clip of Cory's brother Kevin on Larry King Live. This man should not be on television right now. Shame on CNN.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece that actually contains news. Randi informs us that the response to the plane crash went well. The White House was briefed, NORAD scrambled jets, six ships with heavy weaponry were at the ready, and the coast guard was contacted. It's good things went smoothly, though I do have to wonder what would happen if the situation was bigger. We then move to an Alina Cho piece on a nursey school that had to impliment their evacuation plan. Basically they went across the street to a church. It's great they have a plan, but I was thinking of something a little more elaborate. Whatever. We do get a good line out of Anderson from this though. There's a shot of a kid in a superhero outfit and Anderson comments, "He doesn't have to worry, he's a superhero." Hmm, I wonder if he can save a news show from itself.

Next up we have a piece from Deborah Feyerick that delves into how little oversight there is for small planes. These planes are not allowed to land at Reagan National in DC, but they can fly along NYC's rivers. The fear here of course is that someone could load one of these planes with explosives. I don't know why, but I was under the impression that no planes could fly over Manhatten. We then move into an interview with CNN security analyst Pat D'Amuro, who thinks the response was outstanding. However, there is still not great communication ability. That's a problem. I know CNN previously reported that the recommendation from the 9-11 commission would not be implemented until about 2009. Unbelievable, yet I believe it. Oh and it might have been nice for someone to mention that. I mean, I remember it off the top of my head I don't see why they can't.

Finally tonight we have a Tom Foreman piece about famous people who have died in plane crashes. Geez. Yeah, that's newsworthy. My main problem with going bonkers over stories like this accident is that, except to the people they directly affect, they don't impact anything. A year from now someone might say, "Hey remember when that Yankee flew his plane into a building?" And you'll say, "Oh, yeah." And that will be it. Maybe I'm wrong and this will spurn a discussion and changes in small plane rules, but for the most part I think this will quickly go down the memory hole. In the meantime, what news that will impact all of our lives went uncovered? 360 phoned in crap tonight. D-

Do you agree?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mathilde said...

Boring. Just watched the beginning. Anderson was having fun interviewing people on the street. He was cute about the kid. That's it.

10:21 PM  

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