I like to surf the network news on nights when I’m home for it, because that’s still the news that reaches the largest audience. Like I said previously, I miss Peter Jennings. He had that Canadian born internationalist perspective, and the news under him showed it more than the other two, despite his corporate bosses. His intonation always made it clear where he stood, despite the corporate limitations.
As opposed to Tom Brokaw who for most of his career played it even more safe than most, coming off neutral-leaning-to-the-right most nights, until his last few years when he seemed to loosen up a little.
Over at CBS it was always more “liberal” thanks to Edward R. Murrow, and then Walter Cronkite. Dan Rather was so folksy blathery it was sometimes difficult to tell where he stood or spun, though at times he certainly was the only one willing to take on the rightwing powers that have always ruled the airwaves despite the liberal leanings of Cronkite and others.
But Katie Coric seems to be blowing in the wind (and what’s with her face these days? Did some one do one of those old fashioned tighten-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-head temporary face lifts to make her eyes seems suddenly very slanted?) while Charlie what’s his face at ABC has turned so sharply to the right, I’m confused. I thought it was just his corporate bosses who suddenly okayed that documentary a while back that blamed everything on Clinton. But then Charlie nice guy himself started doing stories with a decidedly rightwing bent and I was like oooooh, he’s outing himself as one of them.
Then, last night, much to my chagrin, Diane Sawyer, who I’ve always had a thing for as one of the women from afar you rarely ever really meet but still feel somehow connected to through more than a crush or simple lust, but something deeper, or more lofty, or wider or you get the idea. But last night, in a head scarf, she pummeled that little dude who’s president of Iran—and whose name I can’t just whip out off the top of my head—not for denying the holocaust, not for saying Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, not for failing to follow through on his economic promises to his country men and women who elected him, but for supposedly supplying parts for roadside bombs to Iraqis who then used them to kill “170” (or some other specific number as if anyone really knows) “Americans” (she caught herself and then said “coalition forces”) fighting in Iraq.
She was questioning him relentlessly on the basis of anonymous intelligence from the fucking Bushies, and a display of evidence that every other reporter who was there for that particular briefing said proved nothing! Et tu Diane!?!
As if that isn’t disheartening enough, I didn’t watch the super bowl, but people told me of beer commercials that were not just mean, even cruel, but outright nastily vicious, and then I read an article saying that the beer companies sales have been going down and they realized the old message of beer good, sexy girls and beer better, etc. wasn’t working and that a very large percentage of all alcohol sales, including beer, goes to a small percentage of drinkers (i.e. alcoholics!) and that the way to get them and those like them to buy more is to create ads that make it clear nothing matters—not spouses, children, other people, pets, etc.—nothing, matters more than getting the beer and keeping the beer for yourself!
Just when thing’s couldn’t seem worse, I turn on NBC to that Brian guy, who replaced Tom, and whataya know, he’s come over to our side, obviously, as he’s running a story saying the supposed “intelligence” about Iran contributing bombs to insurgents in Iraq is even more worthless than the intelligence that got us in there in the first place. You go Brian. I gotta go read a book.