Unfortunately, those days are gone.
Local TV still has a remarkable capacity for airing worthless programming, most of it thrown together by nitwits and bimbos who couldn't have gotten even an interview with their current stations 25 years ago, much less an anchor job. Despite all the technical improvements and 21st century gadgetry, local news is more vapid and useless than ever.
One example of this trend involves having news anchors encourage viewers to post comments online regarding a given topic. That, one might think, would be pointless enough. But rather than stopping there, said anchors go on to give the resulting posts a cold, on-air reading.
The reading usually sounds something like, "Umm, Noreen writes, 'This is what we get for fluoridating the water!'And, uh, Delmer says, 'I think the feminists are trying to steal my socks,'" when the topic is the College World Series. It's the sort of moronic drivel that, in the old days, would have been reserved for the KFAB Comment Line.
Locally, this mental novocaine first appeared where most local idiotic features originate: SuxNews. Unfortunately, before long, KETV was making its anchors read viewer posts to the station's Facebook page.
Even more disturbing is that the ineptitude and vacuousness of local stations seems to be seeping upward into national outlets, in the same way that excrement climbs into a house when there's no backflow preventer on the sewer pipe. Seeing this inanity on outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and even an occasional network news program is especially troubling.
Here's what news directors (and the clueless consultants who pull their strings) don't seem to get: We tune in to news programs because we want to hear from people who know more than we do and who have actually located facts in an attempt to make sense of what's going on in the world. We want to articulate, educated, clear-thinking grownups to keep us up to speed on current events.
If we want half-baked theories, mundane observations, and irrelevant gripes, we can go down the street and visit our dumbass neighbor—the one with the unpainted house, who's in his eleventh year of building a retaining wall in his backyard and whose driveway features a rusting pontoon boat, half a decaying swingset, a faded Tilt-a-Whirl sign, and a maroon conversion van sporting Oregon license plates. Or we can go to a Tea Party gathering.
In other words, we want these dolts to take the time they waste reading online postings and, instead, give us meaningful info in a coherent manner.
Is that asking too much?