Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2002 / 3 Kislev, 5763

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Good news for skateboarders looking to keep up with world events


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Good news for skateboarders looking to keep up with world events. The new General Manager of CNN Headline News, Rolando Santos, told the San Francisco Chronicle this fall that he hopes to make the news featurettes more "edgy" and "out there." He compared his morning news readers to "disc jockeys on a zany morning show." That's right. A zany morning show. "Whazzup America."

The photograph accompanying the interview with Mr. Santos made him look more like the manager of a suburban shoe store than a zany arbiter of hipness, but nonetheless he or someone in his charge has been busily coaching newscasters and announcers in the proper use of idioms like "ill," "whack," and "sick."

Whether Stone Phillips addressing a viewer with "Yo, Homes" will really make a tattooed young Turk want to check out how the Dow is doing remains to be seen. My prediction, however, is that we won't be seeing Peter Jennings wearing a backwards baseball cap any time soon.

Sometime last year, having noticed that television news had finally given vacuousness, fatuity and self-importance places of primacy over actual, you know, news delivery, I pretty much stopped watching it, so I'm probably not the one to ask.

For reasons mysterious to me, the consumer culture is obsessed with capturing the senses and disposable income of young men with attention deficit disorder. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. Still, I have a hunch that newscasting and edginess don't really mix. If I want edgy, I'll rent a David Lynch movie. When it comes to news, well, what with a Korean nuclear weapons, imminent war with Iraq, the ongoing unpleasantness with terrorists, a tanking economy, smallpox threats, and what have you, the news seems edgy enough on its own. Why gild that rotting lily?

When it comes to newscasters, I would prefer to eschew a hyperactive longhair and embrace the old standard: a gray, middle-aged, slightly depressed anchor whose very demeanor whispers, "We're doomed. Stay tuned." Am I alone in this?

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

11/01/02: "Extreme" annoyance
10/24/02: Snipers are people, too!
10/16/02: Hockey Therapy
10/08/02: Cupid, the parasite
10/03/02: How to have fun in Africa
09/30/02: If you are employed, you're part of the problem
09/25/02: "Up and comers," go away!
09/18/02: Collectibilitized
09/10/02: Monotone felons
08/20/02: Will we soon need a passport to get caviar, duc a la orange, or Polish sausage?
08/14/02: Law and Disorder --- and Starbucks
08/12/02: Rummy's monkey
08/05/02: Time for some real cultural heroes
07/31/02: Yearning for a nostalgic American product that was neither
07/24/02: Voicemail heaven?
07/18/02: At the movies with your friendly neighborhood curmudgeon
07/12/02: King of Kitsch
07/09/02: Musicians' brains
07/01/02: Where's my cow?
06/24/02: Modern record stores can be a scary proposition
06/21/02: Life IS a movie?
06/19/02: Spreading fertilizer on a dictionary to try to raise a novel
06/17/02: Happy cows are really miserable?
06/12/02: Very similar to a rock
06/05/02: Of Humice and Men
05/30/02: Pooches in sharkskin suits and the end of dog tags
05/22/02: We baby boomers used to rule the roost
05/20/02: The Files now Ex
05/14/02: Entangled in Spider-Man's web!?
05/02/02: April Showers May Come Our Yadda Yadda
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker
04/10/02: New realities
03/21/02: You did it your way? I have to kill you now!
03/14/02: IN THIS CORNER SUSAN LUCCI AND STEPHANIE ZYMALIST!
03/12/02: Life in the warehouse
01/28/02: Shoes and food
01/24/02: Suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with whether we accept something as real or not
01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
12/15/01: If you truly want to appeal to the lowest common denominator
12/11/01: KNITTING!
12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
12/04/01: The future of comic books
11/15/01: Literary tips in a jar
11/12/01: The ectoplasm of a ghost economy
11/05/01: Sumner Redstone's passions
10/31/01: My irony
10/29/01: Even in wartime, America can still bring it home
10/25/01: Ad memories
10/17/01: Pathetic me
10/08/01: War time lite
10/01/01: Confessions of a sarcastic scribe
09/11/01: The end of Mom
09/07/01: Boy Loses Girl, Boy Bites Girl, Boy Gets Girl
09/05/01: Virtual elegance?
08/31/01: I COPY, THEREFORE I AM
08/28/01: Buzz!
08/23/01: Radio workout
08/20/01: I robot, you Jane
08/15/01: A wild and crazy world!
08/10/01: When the future was "as real as a dime"
08/08/01: Garage Dearth!
08/06/01: That Big Clock
08/02/01: Stop the pop!
07/31/01: Catchphrase history of the world
07/26/01: The Bride of Science
07/23/01: That java jive
07/17/01: Homogenized hegemony
07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2001, Ian Shoales