torsdag, december 15, 2005

We're CNN, and What Do You Think About That

I got stuck in an airport recently. I had come in from a transatlantic flight, missed my connection and became too tired to think much on my own. For three hours I sat in front of a TV screen offering up Lou Dobbs, Paula Zahn, and Wolf Blitzer.

When I was in college, I used to get up every morning, make coffee and turn on the PTL show. Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker used to get my brain perculating faster than caffeine ever could. "Who sends them money?" I would wonder. "In what part of the country is that eye makeup thing a good look and will I ever have the misfortune of going there?" Now I have CNN.

"We want to know what you think," Lou tells us. "Take our quick vote."

"Is there any reason, national security or otherwise, that the United States should ever engage in torture? Yes or No."

What could "otherwise" ever possibly be in the federal context? "I'm sorry m'am. We suspect you and your husband of tax evasion/patent infringement/putting pennies on railroad tracks. Come with us to our secret island of horror."

If you want to tell Paula Zahn Now what you think, you first have to let her know: Is your comment today negative or postive.

Negative or positive. I don't know. It would depend, I guess, on a number of factors that the comment box doesn't have selection options for. So, rather than get hung up wondering in which category my comment belonged, how about a clearer query, like, "Is your comment dumb ass or a stroker?"

Wolf, who should never be in a stiff collar, demands "Instant Feedback."

Jeebus, don't these people get enough attention? Is it really necessary to get this stupid to beat Fox for ratings? My favorite Quick Vote this week was:

"Which do you think is more reliable, Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Britannica."

Well if you said Britannica, CNN says you'd be wrong because . . .
Headline: "Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica"
Well, not really. Clarifying Subheadline: Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that relies on volunteers to pen nearly 4 million articles, is about as accurate in covering scientific topics as Encyclopedia Britannica the journal Nature wrote in an online article published Wednesday. The finding, based on a side-by-side comparison of articles covering a broad swath of the scientific spectrum[.]"

Well, sure, because just like the rest of us fifth graders, the volunteers copied right out of the Britannica pages. Besides, its science. Unless you live in Kansas, how different can it get? I don't know about you, but for my next term paper, I am sticking with Britannica. I can't let my social studies grade rest on the shoulders of some internet addicted shut-in with a password.

Back to you, Paula. I'm heading over to the Whiskey Bar.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gothamimage said...

Cate - Wiki has some problems, but it also has this great feature of it's most well done articles, which are always a learning experience. I see you like language, if you stop over at our blog, we have an interesting debate between two differen English speakers, Hitchens and Bush, posted. You may laugh. May not.

5:38 fm  
Blogger Bebe said...

The Wik is going to take over. Britannica is probably working as we post to find a way to sync the two seemingly incompatable models. That is my New Year's prediction.

10:59 em  

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