February 7, 2015
Last Saturday night, while plugged in with my new MXR Phase 90 phaser pedal with the #2 Virginia – #4 Duke basketball game playing on the television behind me, out of the corner of my eye big bold letters screamed Breaking News on the scrawl at the bottom of the screen. Since the game was on ESPN, this breaking news must be really important. It seemed Jerome Bettis had been elected into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, located in Canton, Ohio. Stay tuned after the game for SportsCenter for the complete list we were told most likely every five minutes, as is the irritating routine of every television station that runs scrawl. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Breaking News? This should not be breaking news even to Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
I find it preposterous how often every television station abuses the breaking news headline. Local networks very often start their newscasts with breaking news. Isn’t this an oxymoron? MSNBC will continue reporting something as breaking news seven or eight hours after it was first reported. When exactly does a news event no longer constitute breaking news? I’m no newsman, but I would guess within an hour, maybe less.
I am a news and political junkie; however, I stopped watching local news many years ago because of their “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality. I will occasionally watch it for a weather report or if the Buckeyes have a big game coming up. The following is my mocking not only of Columbus, Ohio’s WBNS-TV station, but also that of every other television network, especially those twenty-four news channels, as they are all guilty of over-hyping any and all things in their lust to attract and kept their viewers glued to the screen. This commentary was first written as a letter to the program director of WBNS-TV maybe ten years ago. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent, but were the actual names of the WBNS news department staff at that time. However, most of those listed have since retired, or have moved on to another network.
With Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” blaring in the background, Dave Kaylor opens the evening newscast:
Dave Kaylor: This is WBNS 10TV’s 6:00 Eyewitness News. Hi! I’m Dave Kaylor in the 10TV Studio. The 10TV News starts now (loud music again blares)….
Angela Pace: But first Dave, our top story (loud music again)….
Andrea Cambern: Angela, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….
Dave Kaylor: Andrea, only on 10TV, tracking the storm is Channel 10TV Meteorologist Mike Davis, Mike.
Mike Davis: This is Mike Davis, Live Dual Doppler 10 Chief Meteorologist, in the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Center, Channel 10TV’s exclusive Live Dual Doppler 10 Radar has just….
Dave Kaylor: Mike, Channel 10TV Eyewitness News has this 10TV exclusive….
Angela Pace: Dave, we have new information on our lead story….
Andrea Cambern: This is Andrea Cambern with Health News (loud music again)….
Kim Adams: Andrea, this is Kim Adams with the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Team, Channel 10TV’s Live Dual Doppler 10 Travel Cast has just….
Angela Pace: But first Kim, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….
Dave Kaylor: Angela, new at 6 (incredibly, loud music once more)….
Andrea Cambern: Dave, as we first told you at noon, 5, and 5:30….
Chris Shumway: Andrea, the 10TV Live Dual Doppler Future Track has just….
Dave Kaylor: Chris, this just in….
Mike Davis: Dave, this is Mike Davis, here in Channel 10TV’s Weather Center, using exclusive Live Dual Doppler Radar, we have a Live Dual Doppler Forecast….
Angela Pace: Mike, breaking news at this hour….
Dave Kaylor: With a look at our Wake-up Forecast, here’s Channel 10TV’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Davis….
Angela Pace: Dave, WBNS Channel 10TV’s I Team has….
Andrea Cambern: Angela, making headlines tonight, only on 10TV….
Kim Adams: Andrea, Storm Tracker 10….
Dave Kaylor: Kim, with a look at what’s coming up at 11….
Angela Pace: Dave, that’s all the time we have. Goodnight from all of us here at WBNS Channel 10TV (loud music blaring one last time).
With headphones on, and the practice amp turned up, I worked up quite a sweat picking for almost 45 minutes. It was actually only 42 minutes, but who’s counting except OCD sufferers. I never did learn who all was inducted into the pro-football Hall of Fame. However, I did learn what a phaser was!!!
Steven H. Spring