Years ago, the pale soda-pop known as Seven-Up, not doing too well against the more popular cola drinks, decided to brand itself as "The Un-Cola." I'm not sure how that turned out; I seldom if ever see ads for the product now. Perhaps it's no longer made. But since I never drank it, I'm not very motivated to go find out, either.
And so it is with television news. As the evening newscasts reach for ever lighter fare, they increasingly become the Un-News. Like the Un-Cola, by doing so they (a) demonstrate their current irrelevance and (b) threaten to broaden that irrelevance into extinction. And when it disappears, I guess I won't be very motivated to find out what happened to it.
While local stations may be able to survive by providing a steady flow of far-from-essential material, people are likely always to find some value in developments of local interest, ranging from a quick sports fix, the ever-popular weather, matters like traffic snarls, regional projects, and the human-interest stories.
But the "national" news has truly become a misnomer. There's nothing national about it. Yesterday's offering on NBC began with the story of a young Kansas City football pro who whacked his fiancee and then himself. Just what we'd expect to hear on the local broadcast in Kansas City but sorry, not "national." Then there was another tale about a bus hitting an overhead ramp in Miami. Seriously? Again: local, not national. There followed a third story, equally uninteresting to 80% of the nation, before we arrived at a moment or two devoted to a really "national" topic.
If, though, we're going to be enmeshed in local events whether we want to be or not, I have this question:
What kind of airport is it that would have an overhead ramp too low to accommodate tour buses? Is this another manifestation of the "florida syndrome" that also seems to prevent them from counting their votes on time?