This query at Nicholas Weaver's Random Thoughts is the sort of thing you see first at the edges, on smaller blogs, and then, sometimes, a few days later you see it everywhere.
Except that I just spent a chunk of Monday morning in the car repair waiting room, which was playing one of the local TV stations, I think the NBC affiliate.
In the hour and a half I was there, the news covered the following topics (that I can recall):
- The weather (the sun rose this morning — illustrated with lovely pictures of Miami)
- Anchorman Peter Jennings dies
- Yoga for dogs (actually, they didn't cover this — they produced a lengthy promo for the upcoming story on the nightly news).
- Space shuttle landing delayed due to weather
- The weather (the sun is in the sky, illustrated with lovely pictures of Key West)
- Extensive interview with a mother who had to take her kids to the first day of school today.
- What to do about the “problem” of curly hair
- The world's smallest ice cream
- Interview with Barbara Walters about Peter Jennings [note that he anchored for a different network; this wasn't an internal ABC promotional thing]
There were probably other stories, but I can't remember them. I can, however, assure you that the following topics were never mentioned at any time:
- The war in Iraq1
- The economy
- Any foreign countries
- Any other states (except in the weather report) (update: and possible landing sites for the shuttle)
Which is why some of this edgy thinking stays at the edge….
1 Update: I forgot one: the war did get mentioned during a segment on four singing grannies who were interviewed wearing their silly costumes. The grannies write and sing anti-Bush protest songs, and they called the war illegal and immoral. The segment didn't actually make fun of them, although one had the sense the interviewer was struggling between a desire to mock and a desire to respect the aged.
It’s the same as the old joke:
“There are 6.5 billion people living on this planet. Do you know how many of them are foreigners?”
That small ice cream thing makes me wish I had my TV and yours too.
You don’t think the tv programming you observed is explained by being what people want to watch? “So what?” about people being unaware of big and important things beyond their daily concerns or needs of mild entertainment–beyond their care and possibly beyond their understanding? It’s nothing new or unexpected…