Is an opportunity to invent some
10-Jun-05. The vacuousness of television news has seldom been so obvious than during the jury deliberations in the Michael Jackson trial. And there is hardly a better example than CNN.
On any given day, the actual news can be summarized in one sentence: The jury in the Michael Jackson trial has not yet reached a verdict.
But that doesn't stop someone like Wolf Blitzer! And coming up — we take you inside the prison where Michael Jackson may serve his sentence if he is convicted.
I doubt that the one person with a genuine, compelling interest in Wolf's tour of Corcoran State Prison was watching.
Some "reporters" took the absence of real news as an opportunity to report on themselves, and we were treated to stories about the "circus" in the media area.
Others mined the rich lode of human interest stories by focusing on the fans assembled from far and wide to stand vigil outside the court house. Just because someone is obsessed enough to spend months standing by a fence holding stupid signs is no reason for a story.
Earlier this afternoon, a CNN "reporter" interviewed one of OJ Simpson's lawyers and asked penetrating, unanswerable questions like, What are the jurors dealing with now? The answer — Who knows? — was clearly unsatisfactory. If you're Tom Mesereau, what are you telling Michael Jackson? We did the best we could.
Elsewhere on CNN, Lou Dobbs has been beating his drum about border security for weeks. He's clearly pushing an agenda, not reporting real news. At one point he held up Ariel Sharon's wall as something the US should emulate.
I suppose it's quaint to expect that reporting might get back to telling us of important things that have already happened, but is it any wonder that the credibility of journalists is so low?