January 25, 2007
I think we have all experienced watching our favorite television program and just at a pivotal point of the program the network will put their news graphic on the screen and in an official voice they announce, “We interrupt this program with an important news bulletin”. This is usually followed by some talking head that tries his best to look serious as he explains some event that usually occurs thousands of miles away from where you are sitting in a country that you probably couldn’t find on a map if your life depended on it. This news interruption usually lasts for somewhere around 20 minutes where the talking head repeats himself a hundred times usually prefaced by the words, “this just in”. Finally the screen fades back to the news screen and the disembodied voice lets you know that you are about to return to regularly scheduled programming just in time to see the credits scroll across the screen and you are left wondering what happened in the show. As a kid this used to drive me completely insane. I could never understand why they could not just pause the program tell us about the important event then resume the program so we didn’t miss anything. I still don’t get that but with DirecTV and Tivo I rarely watch “normal” television so I’ll get over it. The other thing that always bothered me was how did they decide when to interrupt a program and when to let the news announcement come during the news time slot. Today is a prime example. There was an announcement that I would have interrupted every station on the planet yet no programs were interrupted. In fact it wasn’t even the top story on CNN or Fox News Channel.