Entertainment – News Media Style

News media can usually be relied upon to inject pessimism into the most positive of minds, and of late the major organizations are surpassing themselves. While the BBC led last night with the gun-battles in Lebanon, amid lurid prophecies of another civil war, NBC Nightly was more concerned with the latest forecast of an above-averagely violent, hurricane season. [NBC link]

As the former is a battle between the Lebanese army and a few hundred Islamic militants holed up in one of Lebanon’s refugee camps for Palestinians, the concept of this ugly skirmish transforming into a civil war is somewhat far-fetched, rather as the prophecy by NOAA of a 2007 season of hurricanes on the scale of Katrina, given they were totally wrong in their predictions last year, is also likely to prove as accurate as upending a teacup and reading the leaves.

Nevertheless, it’s the job of news media to fill us with fear and foreboding, so not content to stop at civil war in Lebanon, the BBC then launched into the ongoing and sordid saga of Russian secret agents contaminating half of London with radio-active material, in the process of murdering one of their own. Obviously, they’d been watching too many James Bond films.

The London police say they want to finger Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB officer, for the crime, but unfortunately for the London Metropolitan fuzz, Lugovoi is holed up in Moscow and Mister Putin isn’t keen to let him go.

Not to be outdone by the BBC, NBC Nightly moved rapidly from the wet and windy forecasts of the approaching hurricane season, to the dry and parched agricultural land of twenty-one American states officially suffering from severe drought conditions. Of course, as NBC has so often reiterated in the past, none of it has to do with global warming.

The hell it has!

NOTE: this story can also be viewed at the above NBC link, if you can bear to sit through the agonizingly boring advertisement that precedes it.

Moving from the depressing to the macabre, the BBC made much of the discovery of a Japanese mini-submarine at the bottom of Sydney harbor in Australia. Apparently, the vessel and its two-man crew sank in 1942 after managing to blow up a ship and twenty-one Australian and British sailors.

Not ones to hold a grudge, the Aussies have refused to salvage the vessel, even though it is likely the crew are still inside, but have designated it a “historic site” and are sending the families of the crew each a jar of Sydney harbor sand as recompense.

Oh, that renowned Australian generosity.

While NBC Nightly couldn’t match the BBC’s spookiness, it still knew how to fell American viewers with one swift jab to the solar plexus. As reporter Kevin Tibbles tried just a little too hard to enthuse over a glorified, two-seater, golf-cart in the guise of the latest “Smart car” to reach U.S. shores, SUV lovers sat on their couches stunned and horrified beyond belief. This was to be America’s answer to rising gas prices, a reversion to the cramped and seriously un-cool European “bubble cars” of the austere fifties and sixties.

“You can’t help but love this car – you want to hug it and take it home,” say the car’s manufacturers. For my money, most Americans would prefer to kick it into a ditch.

NOTE: this story can also be viewed at the above NBC link, if you can bear to sit through the agonizingly boring advertisement that precedes it.

On a lighter note, it’s understood that following airing of this NBC segment, the suicide rate among pick-up truck drivers climbed dramatically to an all-time high, which just proves that every cloud does have its silver lining.

If there’s one thing we can rely on from our news media, its those final moments of every program when they try to make up for depressing the hell out of us and offer a tit bit or two of fun and frivolity to restore our joie de vivre.

Tonight, both the BBC and NBC offered a glint of sunshine – the funeral of long-time hate-stirrer and fundamentalist, Jerry Falwell. In NBC’s case it was a mere eighteen second glint, with no obvious mention anywhere on their website. Had Brian Williams just said, “Falwell’s dead. They buried him today,” he couldn’t have been much briefer. The BBC, showing more respect for the dear departed, spent much longer on Falwell’s internment; to be exact, eighteen seconds on the funeral but a good three minutes listing all the eminent political figures who failed to attend.

Unable to match the BBC further in the “fun” department, NBC Nightly did what it always does in these situations and reverted to a medical story. In this case, “Lybrel”, a new birth control pill for women that stops the takers from menstruating. NBC’s resident “medical expert” Dr Nancy Snyderman – though many who know her refuse to acknowledge the sex-change, preferring to still call her, “that Snidey Woman” – raved on about the benefits for women of never menstruating again. Of course, in ten years or so, when it’s been pulled from the shelves as a prime cause of uterine cancer, she will appear again to tell us how much she was against it in the first place.

The final word must lie with the BBC for its tale of a female hammerhead shark producing a virgin birth. Apparently, scientists are able to prove using DNA techniques that no male was involved in the reproductive process, as the resultant offspring contained only the genes of its mother. The occurrence raises the question whether this may be the official “Second Coming” as expected by fundamentalist Christians for the last 2000 years. After all, Jesus only promised to return. He never defined what form that return would take. Given his fate first time around, he may well have decided it was safer to come back as a fish. If the baby shark was Jesus on the return, and not just some piscine Messianic impostor, it’s deliciously ironic that Jerry Falwell should miss the event by a week. Sadly, though, we may never know, for the young shark was eventually killed by a stingray.

However, the debate will long continue to rage as to whether the stingray was of Jewish or Roman descent.

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9 Replies to “Entertainment – News Media Style”

  1. “On a lighter note, it’s understood that following airing of this NBC segment, the suicide rate among pick-up truck drivers climbed dramatically to an all-time high, which just proves that every cloud does have its silver lining.”

    If only.


  2. OMG…I finally got past your spam filter, evidently it doesn’t like my web addy so leaving it off let’s me comment.

  3. Jewish or Roman decent! Ha! You got a good chuckle out of me on that one. I think I am in your territory and all I can say is – How are you surviving in this flat land? Look there’s a corn field! Oh look, there’s another one! On and on. The people are nice, friendly and like to chat – so I like that.

  4. “G’day, mate. No worries, here’s some sand for you. We’re keeping the tube’o’relatives in the muck. Come visit sometime. We’ll throw some pufferfish liver on the barby for you.”

    Mary, I had real laugh from the flashback you brought me! MANY years ago, some friends and I were on a roadtrip that went through Kansas. We stopped at a monument, which read (I paraphrase) “Anyone who thinks Kansas is just flat land has their head up their ass. On the horizon you see the rolling sweep of majestic hills.” And you know, if you squinted a bit and were really stoned, it sort of looked like their WAS slight rise in the ground. *grin*

  5. Since my husband must drive a pickup truck for work, that news about the suicide wasn’t as cheery to me as it seems to be to others. He is a marine biologist and the truck is a must have for transporting equipment to and from the ocean or any where they might be working.

    But here’s the irony. After the story last night about the, never have another period pill, he said the exact same thing that you wrote here.

    (I wish your site remembered all my info from one visit to another)

  6. pissed off patricia: my husband drives a work truck as well, I just took it in the context that RJ obviously intended it ie: people who buy huge trucks only to compensate for their very tiny man-toys. We also had the same take on the Lybrel. I’ll deal with mother nature for the time being.

  7. PoP – I meant no disrespect to those who drive pick-up trucks by virtue of their work. It’s a fine vehicle for specific purposes, but it also ranks as a symbol of red-necked, narrow-mindeded Republicanism, and the worst sort of American “macho” imagery. It was specifically to that type I was referring in this somewhat light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, article. I have no idea why your info is not remembered. So far as I am aware, it is not a general problem, though “Not Your Mama” gets kicked out regularly by my spam filter! I do find I have a similar problem on some other sites, but my Firefox browser remembers the info and will insert it once I type the first letter.

    Not Your Mama – Hmmm! I don’t know what my spam filter has against your web address. Did it perhaps lead my filter on with unfulfilled promises of sensual delights, only to break its heart? Or, mayhap, my spam filter shuts you out, fearing its own inability to defend against your womanly guiles? I’ve given it a good talking to, but I fear it has a mind of its own, but please, don’t give up. Your comments are precious, so ignore the pleas of your web addy and post them anyway.

    PM – welcome to dear old, flat, boring, corn-fields-to-the-far-horizon-in-all-directions Illinois. How do I survive on this flat land? I don’t. I weep; I wail; I despair; I yearn agonizingly for the merest slope, the faintest hint of hillyness. Even the thought of a tiny bump on the distant horizon would be manna to my parched soul. Yes, Illinois is bloody FLAT! Though you’re right: the people are wonderful. Enjoy your trip.

    Pekka – I applaud such anti-media sentiments.

    Jerry – are you sure you have no Antipodean ancestry?

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