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Remember when News was presented in a business-like format and delivered to the public without the need for musical interludes, outrageous graphics and other unnecessary entertainment related nonsense?

You don’t?  Ok, then.  So what do I mean?

I remember a time when a story broke and was simply reported.  Everything regarding the story (or at least, everything they had at the time) was presented to the masses by professional and dedicated news broadcasters.  If they had photos, they included them.  If it was an incomplete story or part of an ongoing situation, that was reported as well.

After a story was fully covered, the Anchor moved onto the next story and the pattern continued.  This procedure was followed until all stories were covered.

In between News stories—real news mind you!  Not stories about celebrity marriages or divorces—the weather was covered. . . . in its entirety.

It was not partially dispensed in bite sized pieces throughout the broadcast.  Here’s the weather for tomorrow was a simple statement, not the beginning of a mystery movie.

Back then, we didn’t sit on the edge of our seats awaiting the outcome of the forecast.  We tuned in, got the information and decided what to wear as a result of it.

We didn’t have to wait until the very end of the show to find out what we needed to do for the next day.  We didn’t have to view endless satellite and radar graphics which mean little to nothing to us anyway.

We didn’t get partial News stories, then partial weather, inundated by some 8 to 10 commercial messages in a continuous loop.

Nowadays, you can’t get up or leave the TV for any reason—not even a bathroom break—else you miss the exciting conclusion of what used to be a simple daily update!

So, you hold out.  After all, you’ve invested so much of your time and energy already.  You’ve endured countless stories about celebrity weddings, panda babies, cat videos (which I don’t have a problem with online) and sales promotions pretending to be life tips.  You’ve already waded through ridiculous muck masquerading as News.  You’ve even reviewed satellite and radar graphics regarding the rotation of the earth relative to the sun.

I advise you to do the best you can to stay.  If you don’t, you’ll have to watch it all over again, the next hour, with two different Anchors who are fully prepared to take you into the twilight zone.

Can anybody hear me?

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I don’t know about you but, I hardly watch the News anymore!

I honestly tried to, but I just couldn’t any more. You turn on the TV and a little over two minutes into it, the bad news begins and never really ends.

Story after story of who shot John and where he fell overshadow any stories, no matter how great, of people helping people.

“Infant accidentally shoots self with gun.” “Sibling shoots younger sibling.” “Boy shoots self with pink gun.” “Man robbed at gunpoint.” “Sexual Assaults on the rise.” “Tidal wave washes away entire continent.” Before long, I am tired and depressed!

And the way news is distributed is just as bad as the news itself. Instead of telling one entire story before moving onto another, News is dangled in front of us or given in drips and drabs between countless commercials and “cuts to other live stories” like something out of Pine Valley.

By the time you get the complete story of any one situation, you feel as if you have sat through an episode of All My Children, where the elements of suspense and drama are strategically used to create maximum interest.

Why is News being treated like entertainment? And, while we’re on the subject, why is entertainment newsworthy?

Why do I find out that Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck are divorcing on the News? I wasn’t watching Wendy or TMZ! I was watching the Evening News. If I want to keep up with entertainment and celebrity gossip, guess what…I would watch Wendy or TMZ.

News Flash: When people watch the News, they want News! They wanna know what’s happening locally, nationally and internationally! They want weather and traffic updates (Note: Not necessarily every five minutes!!)! They want information regarding the Stock Markets etc., not who Madonna is dating, whether or not Beyonce is pregnant again or if Kim Kardashian’s rear end is real or constructed out of various bits of plywood and silicon.

Can anybody hear me?

Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of celebrity men taking custody of their minor children from their very alive and very capable mothers? From Usher to Master P, the new trend seems to be that fathers are taking more of a role in the raising of their children. At least, it APPEARS that way. But looking deeper, something much darker seems to be at play. More and more, men are describing their ex-wives as psychotic or crazy and labeling them unfit mothers. To prove this, they drag the mother and their children before the cameras at every opportunity, hoping to prove their case in the court of public opinion. Because of this, children are finding themselves in the midst of these battles like never before.

Look, we all know that kids have been in the center of divorces since the beginning of time. Most often, women received full custody of the children (unless they were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be lacking) and men were relegated to paying child support. From there, additional court actions ensued in order for these women to receive court-appointed support. Granted, it wasn’t a perfect system (as many unfit mothers were allowed to slip through the cracks themselves) but it was one that at least gave the illusion of civility. As with any conflict, things sometimes got very ugly, but at no time was the public treated to such sideshows as they are now. So, why is this happening more and more often now especially amongst celebrities? Why do modern day marital conflicts end with someone’s reputation being destroyed and relationships being ruined forever?

In my opinion, most of these men, especially those married to less-prominent women, are only now figuring out that you cannot pre-nup a child. Even with tough pre-nuptials agreements in place, having a child changes the situation entirely. So, in order to get out of paying child support for some 18 to 25 years, they have opted to take custody of the minor children and leave the wife as she was. And the courts are in full support of this rising trend.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I feel that men cannot parent their children. I have always known that they could. Nor do I mean to suggest that actually taking custody of the children is somehow a “better deal” financially than paying support. Anyone with children knows that to be false. My problem is the motive behind the taking of the children, as well as the fact that these minors are then being turned against their mothers by their more wealthy fathers. Though my interactions with millionaires are, admittedly, rather limited, I have the many ways that men, of ALL social rungs, have attempted to hurt their ex-wives. Even those paying a pittance for support want an itemized list of everything the mother intends to do with the “vast wealth” that they are sending. Should the mother buy a pair of shoes for herself, even if she uses her own money, the fathers cry out that they are misusing funds meant for the child. Wealthy men seem to be no different.

Each and every one of these famous men could easily afford to give the mother of their children SOMETHING for her years of marriage and parenting. They choose not to. Not because they can’t, but because they are worried that the mother may actually be able to have a life of her own and not simply wither and die in the gutter somewhere. I mean, do we truly believe that somehow EVERY wealthy man managed to marry a psychotic, gun toting, drug addicted woman? Somehow every woman in these custody disputes is unfit both as a mother and as a human being? Seriously?

Now, I am aware that some would argue that women have turned children against their fathers after divorces too. I have to concede that some have. But let’s place some emphasis on the word “some.” Some did. But some is not the majority. And let’s face it, many of these women never had to as the non-payment of child support is a testimony in and of itself to children as to their importance in their fathers’ lives.

Nevertheless, I am questioning why this is happening all of a sudden? In my humble opinion, finances are the root cause of the almost minstrel show-esque proceedings. The children of today aren’t the same as the children of yesteryear. They are much more aware of the world around them than previous generations were. As such, they are aware of what happens to children should the non-wealthy parent win custody. Fear of being disinherited makes their loyalty for sale. Maybe this isn’t the case for all children who find themselves in this situation, but it is arguably the case in this latest fiasco between Master P and his wife.

As many of you know, Master P recorded his minor children making accusations against their mother as if to show the world that he is the better parent. However, rather than make that point, all I saw were very disloyal children who threw their mother under the bus in favor of their rich father. His adult son, Romeo, put the icing on the proverbial cake when he interjected that his mother “needed to be a better parent.” I mean, who amongst us who are parents don’t need to be better?

For me, it was what Romeo’s statement didn’t say that gave me pause. I mean, why no comment about his father’s parenting skills? Are we to assume that his father doesn’t need to be a better parent? His father is accusing his soon-to-be-ex-wife of using illegal drugs like marijuana and drinking alcohol. Are we to assume that Master P does not engage in these activities? If not, did he just learn of this? Did she just start using? Or, did he allow this so-called unfit mother to poorly mother his children for all these years without complaint until it came time to divvy up some assets?

I mean, we all know that people tend to marry within their culture. Very rarely will you see a celibate with a strumpet. Is it unreasonable to think that Master P, who is part of a drug and crime culture, would marry someone like himself? Did we really expect him to be married to someone who does not participate in these activities? So, are we really surprised at this disclosure? Did anybody think he would be married to someone like Oprah Winfrey or Gail King? Do we really think that he is a saintly man who somehow fell for a sinner? Or is it more likely that he married someone he could relate to, and now wants to use that to his advantage by making himself out to be man of the year?

Can anybody hear me?