Birdcage Liner of the TV Screen
Staying at a friend’s house, I switch on the TV. No cable, but
anything will do as I sip my Black Irish heartstrong brew.
My heart sinks… The Evening News. I listen, trying to look past
fluorescent teeth and blonde helmet hair, at the redwhiteblue flag pins, de riguere.
What kind of News Hell is this?
Gone, the anointed news anchor who
actually decided which stories were aired.
No more fastball pitches in interviews, only slow, sliding grapefruits,
and once they get to the nitty-gritty comes: “We’ll have to leave it there.”
Edward R. Murrow dug to the marrow.
Walter Cronkite, trustworthy and true, integrity personified.
The current crop of dopes read from teleprompters
and think they know the story. Or they’re ‘embedded’ (in bed)
with troops and get to wear fatigues and EV-rything!
Unsinkable twinkies at the helm, naifs who
answered casting calls for Wide-Awake 6 am hosts,
all mammary glands on deck. And in the evening,
pitch-perfect choirboys or gruff cuff-linked old smokies
navigate the stern schedule of the 24-hour news cycle.
Rail all we want; Murdoch is Captain of the Stinking Ship.
FOX is the purveyor of FCC-approved misinformation,
but networks are in this way worst of all:
Infotainment silk-and-velvet-clad bobbleheads who
smile as they read you the story of a deadly car crash.
Treat politicians like celebrities and fawn over them.
Never ask a question that cannot be answered by
a sound byte, scripted before the interview started.
William Randolph Hearst is grinning in his yellow grave.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil