Telling it like it is
As a longtime journalist and avid ‘news junkie,’ I waited with anxious anticipation for the premier of HBO’s new series, “Newsroom,” which airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m.
After three installments, I can’t say I’m disappointed. Time will tell if I remain a fan.
The premise revolves around a popular cable TV news show that is committed to doing something new – something that has become as rare as a TV roof antenna – present an honest-to-goodness, non-agenda or politically biased news report.
Wow! Today that’s almost an oxy-moron.
While I can personally testify that journalists, at least the many journalists I have known, have always had a ‘liberal’ bent, their individual convictions didn’t color the way they presented the news – at least, not deliberately or so obviously.
Back then, we usually had the typical news director who kept us honest … a two-fisted drinker who chained smoked and didn’t put up with any bull…t!
But today it’s a different ‘newsroom.’ For openers, female newscasters overwhelmingly come in various shades of blonde, have high-pitched, squeaky voices, show lots of skin, and wear tight bright outfits that were once prevalent on the dark streets of 8th Avenue.
The usual male newscaster – an ‘8 by 10 glossy’ with perfect teeth and coiffed hair – isn’t much different.
I have my doubts Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley would get a job today.
But the plastic appearance of most newscasters is a minor point compared to the plastic news content of the typical news show. First you get three minutes of news (if you’re lucky), then four minutes of commercials, followed by a quartet of talking head “panelists” who drown out each other with shouting till you have no idea what they’re saying. I give up!
“I’m mad as hell – and I’m not going to take it anymore,” to shamelessly quote a famous fictional newsman. And thanks, to the growing demise of newspapers, I now get my news online.
Here’s hoping HBO’s “Newsroom” will bring back a yearning for a once- proud, American institution that couldn’t be topped.
Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel