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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 have so many things to blog about today that I don’t even know where to begin.

I could start with outrage over the Senate’s public verbalization of their intent to block any nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice by a sitting President. I could lose myself in the knowledge that any sitting president in Obama’s position would take this opportunity yet, somehow, he is vilified for it.

I could go on and on about there being no justice for Freddie Gray, et al. However, I would probably run out of ink due to the sheer numbers of those maimed or murdered at the hands of the police at any given time. And then, I could thoroughly crush my spirit by remembering that these are only the ones that make the News. A lot of others occur with little to no fanfare.

I could discuss the lady who made off with a purse containing $10,000 of tuition payment monies after the owner left it unattended in a local coffee shop. But, in truth, the owner of the purse would receive as much ire as the woman who took off with it. Who in the world travels with $10,000 in cash in their purse and then leaves the purse unattended? The purse should have been surgically attached to her hand!

I could discuss the Black Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Cops/Blue Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Animal Lives Matter campaign.

However, the need to have these campaigns in the first place speaks volumes about the society we live in.

Why isn’t it obvious that all LIFE matters?

I could discuss Black History Month but… (see entry on Black Life Matters campaign above.).

I could discuss the OscarsSoWhite “controversy!” But, I don’t care enough about the Oscars nor what they stand for to even waste ink and paper.

I could discuss Bill Cosby, however, I am tired of hearing about him. Either file charges against him, arrest him, try him in a court of law and not in the media or let him be.

I could discuss Peyton Manning but… (see entry on Bill Cosby above).

I could discuss the 22 year old man who took pictures/films of under-aged (elementary school) children engaging in sexual intercourse. However, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that elementary school children can actually physically engage in sexual intercourse, nor that no one was paying enough attention to the situation to realize what was happening on SCHOOL premises.

I could discuss the UBER driver that snapped, killed about 6 people, injured 2 more, snapped back and continued his work day as usual. But, if I were to do that, I might put my foot in my mouth.

I could discuss the decision by some states to allow transgendered individuals to choose the public restroom that they most identify with. After all, the sheer magnitude of social unrest and possible crime due to imposters pretending to be transgendered, and other safety issues, etc., should outweigh any quick decisions made in order to feign sincere interest in solving this social issue. But that’s a nonstarter as well.

So, I’m not going to.

I prefer to discuss the 106 year old woman who visited the White House, hugged the President and the First Lady, kicked up her heels and had the time of her life! Boy would I love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her and pick her brain.

She made me happy. I like that. So that’s what gets my attention today.

Can anybody hear me?

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?

At what point does embellishment become plain ole, bold-faced lying? I mean, everybody lies about something or other and everybody embellishes a story at one time or another during the course of their lives but, at what point do we draw the line? When we do stop calling something a “little white lie” and just call it a lie?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last month or so, you know that during one of his many news stories over the past twelve years or so, Brian Williams placed himself in harm’s way while reporting on violence abroad. Truth be told, he darn near placed himself on the battlefield!! Okay, that was clearly an embellishment (that word again), but there is a definite point to be made. If Mr. Williams had simply told his exaggerated story to his closest friends during one of their guess-whose-story-tops-your-story sessions then, no big deal. I mean, he would be the undisputed champion of his inner circle, but that’s about it. No harm, no foul.

However, to get on National Television and tell his story as part of an actual news report as well as to go on late night television programs and repeat the story becomes so much more than simply stretching the truth of a story between friends/frenemies! Going on National Television and telling his story as if a news-worthy fact is, plainly stated, a complete lie. Brian Williams was not embellishing a story to impress his inner circle. He was lying to the American public.

This is unacceptable on so many levels that I cannot even cover them all. As such, this action cannot be tolerated…no matter how likeable the perpetrator is!!

This becomes even more insane when you consider what happened with Dan Rather, who left CBS after some 43 years following his questioning the record of then President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. It should be noted that Mr. Rather’s news story was, by all accounts, accurate. The question then must be asked: should Brian Williams’ lie be handled less stringently than Rather’s truth? Should telling a lie on National Television for the sake of personal pride be held to a lesser standard than reporting news in an accurate fashion?

Telling the truth vs Setting the record straight? Which is more important? Should Brian Williams receive a six month penance while Dan Rather’s contract was not renewed?

I think not!

And what of the others in the media who routinely lie to the American public, feeding them hatred and vitriol in the guise of ‘fair and balanced’ coverage? Should they not be removed as well? Or has lying become the new truth?

Can anybody hear me?