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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Guess That's Why These Crazy Kids Watch the Daily Show

When I worked my old job, a mere .3 miles away from my house, my wife and I got to spend lots of morning time together. We had a leisurely breakfast together, walked the dogs, and ensconsed ourselves on the couch to be lulled into a state of idiocy by Meredith, Matt, Al, and Ann.

The Today Show was a mindless routine for the two of us, and by far the most enjoyable part of the show occurs at around 7:14am, when Ann Curry is finished doing the 1.4 minute round-up of international and national newslettes, ending with a story ripe for bawdy, either just shy of the line or just over it commentary by Al Roker.

But that's about as good as the Today Show gets. And it's definitely all downhill from there.

Yesterday morning heralded Tuesday, my coveted and oft-squandered day off. Getting the car's oil changed was on the agenda, and it's my firm tradition to show up at Soly's garage at 7:28am, in preparation for his military-like arrival at 7:30am. This 67-year-old mechanic with a bad shoulder and a bristle-thick gray goatee changes the oil while we talk and joke in the garage, thumbing our noses at litigious and logical rules designed to keep motorists out of potentially dangerous garages. In order to facilitate my punctual arrival at Soly's, I woke up with Mrs. Apron at 6:10am, and we enjoyed a little bit of our old Today Show routine.

I had heard, on the local news that comes on before the Today Show, a blip about a startling initiation of aggression by North Korea, firing 100 unpleasant projectiles into a South Korean island, killing two South Korean marines and wounding dozens of others. That this unpredictable, unstable, and volatile nation was showing its most unsettling arm-flexing since the Korean War was indeed troubling to me, and I expected the event to be covered with proportional depth by the Today Show.

Well, clearly, I'm an idiot.

What was the top story yesterday, covered for a full nine minutes?

The location of Prince Fucking William and Kate Nice Legs Middleton was just announced.

Westminster Abbey. Wow, right? Never saw that one coming, did you? I had heard it was a toss-up between there, BBC Television Centre, the apartment where Terry Jones lived in 1968, and a public lavatory two miles south of Piccadilly Circus.

I guess common sense won out that time. Good show, old chaps.

I don't know why I was so incensed and so surprised by the inordinate attention being given to an announcement that was such frippery, such fluff, such ridiculum, and not only that, but one that was a foregone conclusion anyway. I guess they chose Westminster Abbey because all of the Southern Black Baptist churches in England were booked on their desired date.

I joke, because that's what I was trained to do by scads of unwittingly reinforcing public school teachers, but it's really not funny. My father loves to refer, in his semibroken English, to America as "the dumbest fuckin' retard country ever" and he may very well be right, but, if we are, the news media deserves its fair share of the blame by sliding retard sauce down our throats and calling it medicine.

It's easy for me to get worked up over this generation's obsession with Jon Stewart's reinvention of "The Daily Show," turning it from the simple, funny, relatively innocuous show it was during Craig Kilborn's reign (remember that?) into a ferocious, self-important political whirlwind where comedy often takes a backseat to grandstanding, but there is a reason for its dominance over traditional news, and I acknowledge and accept that.

Our local ABC affiliate newstation, Action News, does a regular feature on Tuesday mornings on "Dancing With the Stars." And I always stare at the screen, dumbfounded, as people who call themselves "news anchors" sit behind desks wearing suits have the utter temerity and lack of dignity to expound on a moronic television show, and pretend that it's news.

Pass the remote. I want to shove it up somebody's ass. If North Korea doesn't blow us all to hell before I get the chance to do it, that is.

1 comment:

  1. I understand people being upset by folks getting their news from the Daily Show, because it's really not news - it's comedy about news. But being upset at the Daily Show for failing to provide the same service as a news show just doesn't make sense!
    Not that you have to make sense, mind...


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