We Interrupt This Program

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.

I am talking of course about the news released by Major League Baseball. How could the news channels not report the announcement that MLB released the master 2007 schedule? Do they not understand the importance of this event? This has a tremendous impact on thousands or even millions of people’s lives. There are 2,430 games scheduled during the 2007 season. If each game is attended by 40,000 people then 9,720,000 people are impacted by this announcement. Can you name one story in today’s news that had an impact on 9,720,000 people? I mean if a skiff of snow at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport can make the evening news in Denver Colorado I would think we could interrupt Days of Our Lives to let people know that the baseball schedule is officially released. I know at our house this is an extremely important piece of news. It means that we can finally determine when we can take family vacations, when the kids may miss school, which afternoons I will be sick from April through September and when doctor’s appointments can be scheduled. This also has impact on traffic patterns, energy consumption, and may even have global warming impact. Ok I may have made that last one up but these days everything has global warming impact so I figured I could slide that in and no one would be the wiser. I am disappointed in the media outlets and I have to start questioning whether they even understand what news is. I’m thinking I may need to write a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. This is obviously misappropriation of public airwaves. It may even be censorship and a conspiracy by the left-wing communications conglomerate to force the public into a false sense of security. I’m not sure but I think this is how communism started in Slovakia.

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