Remember when the news was delivered by people we trusted
I have never been a fan of the news. I’ve always been skeptical of the negative light I often saw Blacks portrayed and how White reporters always seemed to find the dumbest person in the neighborhood to interview and represent an entire community. Really? For those reasons and more, I always gave the news a side-eye.
People who read multiple newspapers in the morning were odd to me. Until I found out my grandfather was a member of that group; then, it became cool because he was the coolest. But before my mother passed along that tidbit of information about him, I did not find reading one, not to mention many newspapers, as something to be admired.
Who wants to read bad news with their cereal in the morning? I did not get it. I preferred to eat my Raisin Bran and read the “Funnies” than to read or listen to the news and risk feeling sick to my stomach or angry.
When I did have contact with the news, it was usually something I saw (not read) by accident or right before dinner time, and only because it preceded “Jeopardy.” The news was boring, sad, and depressing, and I did not understand half of the rhetoric. The news was for old folks, like Granddaddy, and journalists.
Then one day, I found myself eating a Cinnamon Crunch bagel from Panera while watching Bryant Gumbel on the NBC Today show. Seeing a Black man made the news more believable. I felt a connection. He was not terrible on the eyes either.
Neither was the backdrop of New York City. I always loved New York City, so the news quickly became amenable to me. Each morning I was teleported to Studio 1A and the Rockefeller Center.
The Today show was not just about who shot John. It was the lure of city life, the theatre, the financial district, the museums, and the acquaintances to the goo gobs of movies I grew up watching. The Today show had become the spoonful of sugar necessary to help the news go down.
After Gumbel left, I eventually moved to Times Square and Good Morning America with Charlie Gibson, Diane Sawyer, and Robin Roberts. I enjoyed Roberts for the same visceral reasons I stopped to watch Gumbel, plus the ABC network would provide the local weather and highlights on local news during the commercials. That’s how the habit of getting ready for work with a dose of current events and entertainment began.
Working from home on occasion also allowed me to check out The View during my lunch hour. Thinking back, I cannot imagine that I forewent a novel for the goddess of news, Barbara Walters, and four talking heads. But I did. I laughed and learned while watching the ladies debate hot topics.
Unfortunately, the spirit of the show progressively changed for me. And so did my favorite news shows. One day out of nowhere, everything on my morning and afternoon shows seemed to have a political slant. I could no longer enjoy my edutainment without feeling manipulated into taking a side. Political forces started trying to sway my opinion and get my vote while I was drinking my breakfast smoothie, and then the ladies on The View started ruining my lunch with all their arguing.
Lately, I find it hard to watch more than fifteen minutes of news without feeling like I want to gag. I already know where they are going, and I don’t appreciate being hijacked. I am so hypersensitive to the nonsense that I wonder if I am now at an age where I start reading multiple papers and inserting the government into every aspect of my life because taxes are real, gas is off the chain, and my eggs are crazy expensive? I long for trustworthy journalism because the lack of it is enough to cause a chaste girl to chug-a-lug a few beers. I have become a person who wants my news straight with no (political) theatre.
Whatever the source, the news is no longer my friend. I am skeptical again. In all fairness, I expect more gossip, opinions, and drama from The View. It is a talk show with comedians and book peddlers. Only one cast member is an actual journalist—last I watched. But the morning and evening news are not places for personal commentaries. I’m pretty sure that is what a blog is for.
Instead of interviewing subject matter experts and allowing viewers to hear and assess the facts, the news tries to tell us how to think about people, places, and things. So, I have fallen out of like with the news, and I hope to become a better person for it. Lately, I have allowed others to fill me in on the hot topics.
If I desire to know more, then, and only then, will I research the facts, which usually requires reading (not watching or listening) information from various trusted sources. Yes, I employ the skills of a journalist. And then and only then do I yield my opinion–on my blog. Hahaha!
Thanks for READING and have a blessed day.