Thursday, June 23, 2005

The curse of the insomniac: bad TV news

One of the curses of being an insomniac is bad television. The worst of television is on in the wee hours. And the worst of the worst is the overnight news shows -- those news programs put on by the major networks before the "real" morning shows such as Today and Good Morning America open. They apparently just open the doors at the broadcast HQ in New York, and let random people pretend to be newscasters.

Right now, ABC is running the most execrable news program ever seen. I think first year telecom majors at Michigan State can produce programming with better production values. ABC would do better to run old tapes of Barbara Walters reading the news in 1976.

Here's my note to ABC, no doubt which will be little noted nor long remembered:

What executive is in charge of World News Now overnight?

Its content, and its production values, are worse than the worst local TV news in the ABC network.

You open with two anchors who would not make it in the Lansing market – and that, friends, is faint praise indeed -- and they launch the news to brag about the male half of the team’s birthday. Excuse me, how is your anchor’s birthday World News Now?

Then you cut to an ill-dressed Asian Indian woman in the UK with a totally idiotic piece about Prince Charles’ travel budget – and she then segues into her own dating life. How is the dating life of an unknown and idiotic reporter in the UK news in the US?

Right now your female anchor, dressed in a red outfit not meant for television, is breaking up in gales of laughter, flirting with her younger male counterpart. Again, how is this news?

Is this really a news program? Really?!?

Honestly, is there a news producer in charge here? Or is your overnight news just managed by leftover cable access wannabes?

Roone Arledge is spinning in his grave. Edward R. Murrow is, I hope, onto better things.

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