OK, so I’ll admit it: I watched approximately 180 seconds of Katie Couric’s debut newscast. It so happened I had just started dinner — that is, ordered a pizza — and had about five minutes to put my feet up. I was in a room with a TV, there was the remote, and thanks to the momentous publicity blitz, I recalled that I could, at that very moment, watch some “historic” television.
So I did. For three minutes. History just ain’t as thrilling as it used to be.
If my current viewing patterns are any indication, I’ll next watch Katie in 2015. I hope she has a nice career.
Really, though, do you watch network news? How often do you have the magic combination of time and opportunity to sit down and get your news the way Walter Cronkite used to deliver it? For me, the answer is “pretty much never.” I don’t keep a TV in my kitchen, which is where I usually am at 6:30, but I do have a radio there, and have NPR on at that hour. If any glowing screen comes into my kitchen, it’s my laptop, and I guaran-damn-tee you it’s not running network-news video broadband.
I don’t know about you, but I suspect I’m fairly typical. Others are still commuting home from work, having an end-of-day run/yoga session, mixing cocktails or doing anything other than sitting in one place and allowing a handful of network producers to select their day’s information.
So, that said, is there anything that marks newspapers as network news’ dance partner in the fading sunset of a general-interest media universe more than the obsessive attention paid to this titanic non-story? I’m saying…no.
And the Photoshop diet? This just in: Marketing departments preparing photos of marketable celebrities frequently apply digital-retouching techniques to make sure they look as good as possible. Stop the goddamn presses.
UPDATE: J.C. has a timeline demonstrating the content/breaks ratio. (And more thoughts, from a much more informed perspective.)
Jury duty: How I longed for a better experience. But it was pretty much like jury duty everywhere, in that I sat in a sweltering room in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice with 300 other citizens for four hours before we were all turned loose. We watched the standard how-our-court-system-works video, then “Men in Black” for amusement. We were called in groups to courtrooms, only to be told the case was settled or the defendant took a plea or the lawyer decided to extend his Labor Day holiday by 24 hours. Although I never got called. I read the New York Times, then prepped for my afternoon interview, then read Kenneth Turan’s latest collection of movie reviews, which Alan took off the anybody’s pile at work. Is there anything more perishable than a movie review? Not much, and yet I read and read and read, because movie reviews are a) easy to chew; and b) I’d finally seen most of the movies in question. It made me want to see “Mystic River” again, and I decided anew that, in the bout between “Million Dollar Baby” vs. That Moron Michael Medved, it’s a first-round KO.
Kate went back to school yesterday. I have a to-do list the length of my forearm today. Better get to it.