A TV News Rant


I can’t stand to watch more than about 30 seconds of TV news. In no particular order, here are my complaints.

It has to be “Live from the Scene” even if the event happened 24 hours ago. We need some pretty boy or girl to stand in front of a vacant stretch of road and talk about the accident that happened yesterday. If we’re really lucky there will be a tow truck removing the car or truck while a bored police officer stands by. Nothing, I mean nothing, from the actual event. At one time all of the local stations had photogs that hung around, listened to scanners, and responded to events in progress. It was called “Spot News” and the guys that did it were pros. They knew the areas they covered, they could generally tell by listening to the scanner what had real potential and what didn’t. Occasionally, they would have the “talent” in the car with them and you’d get a nice stand up spot done from the scene. Mostly you had good video with the anchor reading the details from a prepared script. Spot news on TV and in print is pretty much dead. Mostly the photogs do assignments so the talking heads can go out as above and give an incomplete and incorrect account of what happened.

“Send us your video, camera phone, or other pictures and we’ll put them on TV.

Sure you will, just as soon as you pay me what you’d pay a free lancer for the same pictures. I’m giving you NOTHING, you want to see a newsworthy picture or video, you can bid for it along with the other stations in town. Highest bidder gets the exclusive. If it’s not worth paying for then it’s probably not worth putting on TV. You want spot news video, you know what you should do.

Please pick some normal people to interview. I know, that’s terribly judgmental of me, but I really don’t want to hear and see some five year old say, “It was scawy”. No shit, a house blowing up across the street is scary.

Nor do I want to see some stringy hair, one tooth, semi literate, moron say, “We was standing here on the corner and then I seen the cops drive by real fast.”

Here’s a hint ace news reporter. When you’re recounting something that happened several hours ago, please speak in the past tense. It’s at that point police arrived.” not “The police drive up and see the suspect”. They saw to the suspect. Your are speaking incorrectly, you are murdering the King’s English.

News anchors, pay attention. Do not say, “Check this out”. That’s teen age vernacular and although most of you still have the corsage from your high school prom in your parent’s refrigerator, you are supposed to be adults. Please speak like the over paid professional news reader you allegedly are.

Another hint. Don’t lead a story with “You’re not going to believe what happened”. You dopes have enough credibility problems without telling me that a story is unbelievable and that you’re lying to me. I know that already, don’t confirm it.

We don’t really need every story headline to be alliteration. “December Danger” “Snow Storm Shocker” and the ever popular “Terror on the T”, just sound plain stupid.

Oh, I’d like to have a weather forecast, not weather history. I don’t need two minutes of what happened yesterday. I was there and know that you booted the weather report, as you do about 50% of the time. No sense in going back in time to remind me. Give me your best, probably wrong, guess. You don’t have to hype every rain or snow storm like it’s the end of times. Really, some people do kind of make decisions based on your guesses, although they’re silly to do so. I know that you have six or so computer models to draw from. You don’t need to always pick the worst case one, though.

Speaking of which, please stop “teasing” stories through multiple commercial breaks, especially in the morning. I just don’t have time to watch twenty minutes of stupidity to get to the big story, which usually turns out to be another 80 seconds of stupidity.

Please spare me the 50% of your show that is celebrity news, puff pieces on some show on your parent network, or other silliness. I don’t care about Princess Diana, Tom Cruise, Paris, Brittany, Jessica, Brad, JLo, Tom Brady’s baby, or any of that other crap. Special note to CBS sports. I don’t expect that I’ll ever go to the CBS Scene at Gillette Stadium, so you don’t need to have your football guys mention it every other play when you’re doing the Patriots games. Really, we get the point, not that 99% of your audience will ever be able to afford to go to a game there.

Which brings me to my last point. I know that I’m not your target demographic, but I can’t guess who is. My wife watches a bit, but mostly to laugh at you. My kids, who are in their early 20s don’t watch either. None of my friends do either. I get most of my news from the Internet, generally 24 hours before you screw up the story. As the pre World War II audience dies off, fewer and fewer people are going to watch your product. In fact, within my life time you probably aren’t going to even have a product.

I probably missed a few things, so feel free to add, comment, whatever.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. “Internet killed the video star”?Well done. Can’t say I disagree with any of it. Which is crazy, because I usually disagree with something.

  2. Methinks you need a ‘rant’ label.And you need to change your password, since it looks like GG did your last post 🙂

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