Monday, August 22, 2005

The ABCs of Journalism

There are very few worthwhile news items on the morning shows these days. I should rephrase that. There are few news stories on the morning shows that are presented in a worthwhile manner.

This morning was the usual tripe. Natalee Holloway. It seems that her potential college dorm room is waiting for her. Reporters even got a couple of Natalee’s parallel-dimension college classmates to say how sad they were to not be able to make friends with her. Oh poor bizarro-world classmates, it must be very hard to lose a maybe-perhaps BFF like that.

There was a story on the continually inflating housing bubble. Will it last forever? Yes, of course it will. Just look around at all of the other things in this world that have lasted forever! Morons.

There were some other stories too, but I start not to listen when they can report on ovarian cancer with the same zeal and conviction that they report on the lives of the actresses from Desperate Housewives.

Oh, ABC, what has happened to you?

I was losing what little faith I had left. Was I finally going to have to bite the bullet and suffer through the idiocy of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric? Or, worse…Jillian Barberie? (It’s an LA local news thing)

But then I saw my salvation. Finally a story I could get behind.

Are MRIs Safe?

See, MRI machines have powerful magnets in them which have actually drawn things into them. Things like freaking chairs and oxygen tanks!

(Tragically, a boy was killed by that oxygen tank flying into his head at 40mph.)

But the story got better. To illustrate the dangers of the magnets in an MRI they did a remote feed to a doctor at a major hospital. He was standing in front of an MRI machine that was destined to be decommissioned. So anything went with this thing.

He talked about the “safe zone” and blah, blah, blah. And then he got down to business.

He nearly got pulled off his feet by a bunch of keys on a strap around his neck as they flew into the machine…

He tethered a wrench to the wall and made it float in midair in front of the MRI’s opening…

Charlie Gibson babbled on about patient safety and whatnot. But nobody cared, I’m sure. They were probably all like me. Transfixed on the action taking place in the other part of the split-screen.

The doctor was pulling out an 18 inch metal pizza pan.

Oh, this was going to be great. We were all going to get to see a pizza pan fly into an MRI machine with the deadly velocity of Oddjob’s bowler hat.

Poised for MRI magnet fun, the doctor stood in the background, pizza pan clutched in his fist as we all waited in excited anticipation.

But then, inexplicably, Charlie Gibson casually said, “thank you, that was very informative.”

And tossed to a commercial!

No pizza pan/magnet thrills for me this morning. What a freaking tease.

So, if anybody out there has an old MRI machine sitting around that they don’t care about…I’ve got a pizza pan.

Fun Fact: I called it. Yes, that’s right, you heard it here first, folks. The “Piano Man” is a fraud. And I, The Anthropomorphic Male, knew it!

But even I wasn’t ready for the full extent of his charade.

Turns out the dude doesn’t even play the piano. He just drew a picture of one.

You know something, this is the goddamned 21st century. Is it really that difficult to find out if the guy actually plays the piano?!

See, the doctors mentioned that the mysterious stranger sat at the piano. But he never actually played anything moderately resembling the songs he was so famous for playing. The Beatles and Tchaikovsky.

He just kept playing the same notes over and over and over again. Not nearly as impressive.

I mean, anyone can play an Usher song.

What kind of journalism is this? I expect the media to get speculative when they don’t have the actual facts, but this is ridiculous. They turned a nobody with no talent into a genius concert pianist. What a bunch of idiots.

He’s no pianist. Everyone knows that since the guy is German, he’s obviously the reincarnation of Hitler.


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