In the Phoenix metroplex,
ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings comes on at 5:30 p.m. and
by 5:57 p.m., after having watched the program, I knew that employees
are being monitored in 54% of American workplaces by electronic
devices, and that Arkansas was still iced over.
What I did not see
was any world news. There was nothing on the continuing conflict
between Jews and Palestinians. I saw nothing of the horrors
occurring in the Sudan. There was nothing on the conditions of
present day Bosnia or Kosovo. The weakened status of our
military wasn't mentioned. Not one word was said about the
conflict between China and Taiwan.
World News Tonight seems to
limit the world largely to the United States. Well, there was a
short note that the Pope apparently doesn't like Bill Clinton and we
saw both, in Rome, for a few seconds. Hey, the Pope isn't alone
in his impressions of Bubba. That's world news?
The reporting of problems
in the United States was limited to ice storms in Arkansas and power
shortages in California, without giving the reasons behind the energy
crisis in California or any investigative reporting on the same.
It's nice to blame ice in Arkansas, and the San Diego wildfires are
being blamed on a cigarette which is convenient because it won't cause
an investigation. As long as the media can avoid getting down to
issues, it will.
Oh yes, I did see some
footage on Emanem because of his nominations for a Grammy. Some
teens were shown saying he speaks to this generation. Whee, what
a way to characterize America's youth!
I wonder what Walter
Cronkite watches these days? IF Gabriel Heatter, Edward R.
Murrow, Eric Sevareid, or Walter Winchell were alive today, what would
they recommend for getting news? Probably the Internet!
They would doubtless not be allowed to become the journalistic giants
that they were in their own time. Peter Jennings draws something
like $7 million a year for looking suave. That isn't journalism,
Television news is not
producing journalism. At least, it is not producing journalism
as we were taught it in the 50's at UCLA and other major universities
in the United States. People went out and hunted down the news.
Some still do, but not for major network television. Network
television is next to useless. Major print journalism is
following close behind, because all major media are diluting the
truth, avoiding the issues or slanting their reporting.
Then we have the great
checkout counter tabloids about who's in who else's bed, or what
prophecies the seers found in their coffee grounds. People buy
and read that junk too. Frankly, I wouldn't let them give me one
It isn't that nothing is
occurring in the world but World News Tonight makes it seem that way.
Their opening segment was on the stock market surge after Alan
Greenspan's lowering the interest rate a half point, and then the
downer the day after. Two market analysts gave opposing opinions
as to whether or not we are in recession. A fast few seconds
were devoted to the fact that Sears has made the decision to close a
number of its stores and lay off over 2,000 people, but if you were
checking on dinner for about a half minute, you missed that story
When will we get some news?
After George W. Bush takes
the oath of office as President of the United States. It won't
be real news but it will look like real news. It will be aimed
at making all that's being glossed over today look like we were better
off before the Republican administration moved into the White House.
That's when the market
analysts will declare recession, when our military weaknesses will be
revealed, when major crises long in the making will be brought
forcefully to public attention with the Republican administration as
the target for blame.
In the meantime, we'll just
play with ice storms and show Bubba with the Pope or the natural
disasters not even Clinton can control. In his home state yet.
© Dorothy Anne Seese, 2001
View expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political USA.