Denying various prophets of doom their day of darkness, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, made it from the airport to not one, but two engagements, and then back to another airport without causing any earthquakes, floods, fires or riots, in spite of dire warnings from the local media which made it sound as though Armageddon was on the way. Apparently, there weren’t even any major traffic tie-ups, as was predicted by some on local tv, whose reportage bordered on the irrational.
Way to go, folks. Hype it to the max to get those numbers up.
I’m reminded of a personally horrifying experience here in Los Angeles a few years ago. My cameraman and I were standing by, about to do a live report on a political issue, when the following message bored itself into my brain via the telex in my ear: “Ron, we’re in a book, so sex it up!” The message was coming from a neophyte producer who shouldn’t have been allowed near a tv news operation without more supervision. The “book” she was talking about, was a rating book. We were in a rating period and I guess she wanted me to drop my pants and do a little dance?
Anything to get the numbers up. American journalism - RIP.