Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite, Michael Jackson and working out

For the past month or so, I have (re)begun a new routine: I signed up to a gym and have been working out dutifully every other day.  Although I usually try to go at a time other than "workout rush hour",  I almost always arrive at the resistance weight machines when at least one other person is huffing and puffing to improve their muscle tone or mass.

Instead of music, my particular gym sports a television in the weight room which is almost always blaring, and since I am not the only one there, I do not wish to deprive others of their desired distraction.

As a result, I have listened unwillingly to the circus that became Michael Jackson's funeral, and I saw Jackson's daughter express her heartfelt and tear-streaked love for her father. I saw retrospective after retrospective of Walter Cronkite's career - including a description of a dinner meeting and conversation between Katie Couric and Cronkite as told by Couric herself. The only thing I heard her recount was that Cronkite thought she would do a good job as the newest CBS evening anchor (and that they discussed American Idol). I heard much of Jon and Kate's divorce and how the eight were to manage (not to mention the show).  All of this was reported under the label "news".

Perhaps I'm being unfeeling, but I'm grieving myself - for the loss of investigative journalism and reporting. After having been away from television for so long, I automatically begin to turn to contemplation and an almost meditative state while I'm working on the leg press or stomach curl. The blare of the TV interrupts my peace with the empty calories of infotainment, and the prescription ads and debt relief companies get inside my brain no matter how much I search for quiet.

Are we so uncomfortable with our thoughts in this modern world that we need a continuous stream of noisy distraction? Does anyone even remember a day that is void of yelling advertisements? What would Walter Cronkite have said if he had been asked to present a Video News Release (made by the company being spoken of in the release, packaged up and sent to stations as news items)?

All I want is unbiased information - or at least opinions that are not tainted by corporate influence. The search for the truth has been lost somewhere among commercials, sponsorships and paid advertisements. How can we get this back? Do you think we can?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cori, Great piece. you are so on the mark. I find almost all media outlets vile and nauseating. I can't even stand to listen to npr for very long anymore.
    I caught the last half of your radio show tonight. Good content with all the trash being talked about hellthcare( not a mis spelling) these days. It is time people realized the are being played like a violin by the medical insurance-industrial complex. and the media.
    we must talk soon
    Thanks so much.
    john cates