Petting My Peeves


What is Wrong with These People?

-- The man who is so 'publicly humiliated' by being super-glued to a toilet seat in a chain store that he feels compelled to appear on every TV talk show in the universe to tell us all about it.

-- The police chief who holds a press conference to announce that he has no new information on the case.

-- The politician who convenes a press conference to repeat 'No comment' to the only questions anyone is interested in hearing the answers to.

-- Lazy writers who find trashing the rules of grammatical sentence structure easier than thinking of another way to write the line.

-- Reporters at the scene of a disaster who inevitably seek out the person most overwrought with emotion to interview instead of someone more in control who might actually provide some useful information regarding what caused the disaster.

-- Any reporter who makes him or herself 'part of the story' (are you listening, Geraldo?) to attract attention to themselves and what a 'good person' they are, as opposed to just telling us what's going on. Exception: When there really is a life or death situation that requires an extra hand.

-- Related item: Wall-to-wall coverage of a disaster where nothing is actually happening. Showing a microphone-wielding doofus planted in front of a mineshaft telling us that the situation hasn't changed isn't news; neither is sending your reporters to stand out in the rain getting soaked during hurricane season particularly informative. Yes, 90-mile-an-hour winds are pretty strong all right, but we already knew that. Endless helicopter shots of the scene of the crime are also not high on the list of exciting or educational. There are other things going on in the world, Mr. If-It-Bleeds-It-Leads, why not tell us about them?

-- The annual five seasonal tips segments. Functioning adults already know that you should wear a warm coat in cold weather and go to an air conditioned area when it's hot; they also realize that the best cure for thirst when it's warm is a cool drink and that they should drive more carefully when the road's covered in ice. They really don't need a recent Communications School graduate to inform them of these things as if they were revealing the Secrets of Quantum Physics. Is this the level of contempt TV news executives have for their audience? Do they really think the people viewing their broadcasts are imbeciles who don't know they should go where it's warm when they're cold and where it's cold when they're warm? The same executives who hire reporters who don't have enough sense to come in out of the rain during a hurricane?

OK, thanks, you've been a great audience; tip your bartender and don't drive drunk.