By: T.R. Slyder, TRSlyder@yahoo.com
It's too bad that he died and in such grisly fashion.
But the media is being moronic yet again. Their coverage is also poor because it reminds us all too well that all sports journalists are still conrtolled by their inner 11-year old self, who idolizes their sports heroes, assumes they're great men and would make great dads, and fall asleep in their sports-themed pajamas every night.
Get over it guys. I hear sports talking-heads saying things about McNair's death to the effect of, "Wow. You know, we thought we knew this guy. I mean, he was a great family-man, did so much for the community, and no we find out that he was murdered by his girlfriend. Who knows what other kind of shady activities he may have partaken of. Sadly, this doubt will tarnish a legacy of a great man.". When I hear that kind of dumb crap it reminds me of when someone (usually women) come to your place for the first, or any place new for that matter, and say, "Oh wow. This is totally different than how I pictured it!" The first thing I think when I hear that is, "Why the HELL did you bother to imagine my apartment?" Was any good going to come of it? Was there any chance you'd be 100% correct? If so, who cares? Do you really have THAT much spare time? I mean, really. What the hell?
That's how I view "getting to know" celebrities or atheletes. Who cares? Even if you loved how Steve McNair threw a football to a man wearing pads, a helmet and spandex pants, why do you care if he was having an affair? Why did journalists bother to try to carve out this man's identity and feel they knew him? Now they're finding out that the information they imagined/assumed/were fed by McNair's handlers didn't reveal every dark nuance of his life and I'm supposed to care that they're pajama-wearing, jersey-sniffing asses were surprised that they didn't know everything about him and are saddened?
Don't assume we're all as stupid and celebrity-worshiping and fame-blinded as you are.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
By: T.R. Slyder, TRSlyder@yahoo.com
I can't speak for every newspaper in the country, but I know the Chicago Tribune has recently undergone a few structural changes. Last year they changed from the broadpage format to the tabloid format. Before that they also tweaked and consolidated a few of their sections. I've complained before about the monotony of news in the, well, news, about how there are some "news" stories that don't qualify as "news" anymore and could more accurately be described as the "olds". Headlines like "Middle East Peace Talks Fail", "Demonstration in Gaza Turns Violent", "North Korea Reaffirms its Pro-Nuke Stance", "Democratis find Rush Limbaugh's new Rhetoric Objectionable", "MSNBC Anchor/Jon Stewart Dismisses Claims of FoxNews", etc.
I think it's time that the newspapers and news websites, in conjunction with their new infotainment ethos, just sack up and reformat their sections.
CNN.com currently lists the following tabs atop their homepage: Home, World, US, Politics, Crime, Entertainment, Health, Tech, Travel, Living, Business, Sports, Time.com.
Well lets start with the first need: The Travel section needs to go. I'm not sure how long that's been a tab of theirs, but it's vestigial at this point- perhaps a holdover from more prosperous times. All the travel-related stories I see or hear are all about the ailing Travel Sector of our economy- hotels are slashing rates and hardly keeping their heads above water, Vegas is withering, airlines are struggling, people are now partaking of "staycations", etc. And you know where I hear a lot of these stories? On CNN. So lets do away with that tab.
For the "World" tab, that name is too inclusive. Why not just be accurate and title it, "Angry Arabs, Mexican drug-ring stories, North Korea, China, War".
"Politics" can be "Capitol Hill Name-calling and Pictures of the Obamas"
"Crime" can be done away with or retitled "Wall St. Scandals", "Entertainment" should stop misleading us and just be titled "Celebrity's Personal Lives and Movie Earnings", "Tech" can be renamed "Google, Apple, Microsoft and Video Games", the tab titled "Living" can be titled- "Home Decorating, Obesity-reduction tips, and Thrift", and what functions as the "Business" tab ought to be called "How the NYSE Did Today and Green Energy".
They could also add a tab for "Television 'news'". When did the happenings of American Idol, Dances with the Stars and Jimmy Kimmel's monologue become "news"?
Another tab that too many news outlets employs is Twitter. I've harped on this before, but it didn't seem to help. The opinion of Frankie357 in Bismarck, ND. is not news. If I wanted his opinion I'd go to his Twitter account. For CNN to pass of his reaction to news is lazy at best. Shouldn't they assume that I care more about my own opinion than his? The Daily Show voiced something yesterday that I've been saying for awhile- why would I follow CNN on Twitter? If I like CNN, how about I follow them on CNN? Same with bloggers. You're lucky I follow you on your tv show or website, don't ask me to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and every other website du jour. Pick a medium, make it the best you can and that's it. Don't half assedly run 77 different media outlets.
Like most societal calamaties, we have corporate greed to thank. Not content for a mere niche audience or target demographic, every single news outlet had to become a Wal-Mart of news- One Stop Shopping. Why go to a hardware store, grocery store, record store and sporting goods store when you can get all those things at Wal-Mart in one stop? News outlets adopted that mindset and asked- why read a newspaper, People magazine, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, The Onion, Perez Hilton or watch Late Night TV, Sports Center, Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, or follow anyone else on Twitter? We've got all of them right here! Why get what you actually want when you want it, when we'll shove crap down your throat that you don't care about?? We'll tell you what to care about! Sure you can go to a nice steakhouse and have a great dinner, but who wants just one kind of cuisine? What you SHOULD want is to get a little bit of every kind of cuisine-that we choose, put it in a blender, and choke down an unpallateable shake! That way you aren't missing out on anything. That terrible taste that you're tasting is the feel of ignorance leaving your body!
Americans are getting stupid enough on our own, we don't newspapers, print journalism and news websites to help lead the way.