SARGE: Infotainment

Man bites off father’s eyebrow on drive home from wedding…

This disconcerting headline graced the monitor’s face as I arose to start the day. This is indicative of a slow news day. It also indicates how low the mentality of the human race has fallen. News ceased being the reportage of facts concerning the path mankind is following as he wanders toward oblivion. Now it’s called “Infotainment”. This is an example of unholy husbandry resulting in the cross-breeding of entertainment and information “reportage”.

With all that’s going on in the world (and some of it’s quite dangerous) the news is gathered, editing takes place and the end result is:  “Man bites off father’s eyebrow on drive home from wedding…”. I guess the old man should have stopped at Mickey D’s and he could’ve avoided being defaced. (I’m sorry. I AM SOOOOOOOO SORRY! That just couldn’t be avoided.)

The headline isn’t “news”. It isn’t entertaining. It’s stupid, lazy writing.

The editor couldn’t find anything more important to tell us than that? How does this knowledge enrich us and guide us to make decisions? Should we check the “bill o’ fare” for other menu choices before assaulting our parents? Is there a hidden message cloaked in the headline concerning our need to pay greater attention to our driving; or, is this another attempt my Michelle Obama to change the dietary selections in cafeterias? Was she aided and abetted by Michael Bloomberg? Will he try regulating dietary ingestion by commanding Dads across America to supply “low-fat” eyebrows for their sons’ consumption?

What’s happened to journalistic integrity? Edward R. Morrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Severeid and other great journalists must be spinning in their graves. H.L. Mencken would be shaking his head and scalping someone else’s for allowing this crap to waste ink then and now, pixels.

A.J. Liebling said:  “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” He also offered the witticisms: “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news” and “I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.”

We’ve approached an area of human development where we mistake journalistic laziness for news gathering and the instantaneous transmission and dissemination of history. None of this garbage is historic. It’s pap; a waste of the people’s time. It’s not funny. It’s not witty and it certainly isn’t instructive.

The working press reminds me of a young man elected to the Louisiana State Legislature. He was witnessed on a video-taped recordation of his first effort to enact legislation. His mentor stood behind him indicating his support and tutelage. The young man, in a sonorous and commanding voice sure to attract the attention of the angels on high offered his suggestion that the Sazarac, a specific alcoholic concoction consisting of: 3 oz. rye whiskey, 3/4 ounce of simple syrup, Peynaud Bitters, absinthe and a lemon twist be selected as the “official” Louisiana State cocktail.

For this the guy earned $66,800.00 plus per diem. I’d suggest certain editors and writers (I can’t call them journalists) are similarly over-paid. While the guy in the legislature could arguably be said to be taking taxpayer money under false pretenses (he’s alleged to be intelligent) at least the faux journalists are paid by a private business. But they both hold the public’s trust.

The modern press is mired in their self-serving drive to be recognized as movers and shakers, driving elements of social reform and societal betterment according to the writer’s progressive propensities. The modern press is trying to direct your thinking. It insidiously works at misdirecting your attention so you’ll see things their way rather than allowing you to make up your own mind.

If they can direct your attention toward an eyebrow canapé as opposed to watching world events closely to formulate opinions on diplomatic developments and the course of actions being followed (or in the case of some administrations) not followed; the press becomes a force for changes you may not want.

Don’t allow these fools to “infotain” you and make you the punch-line in a poorly scripted joke masquerading as journalism.

Thanks for listening.



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