As a member of the behemoth XSport Fitness workout location/ juice bar/ hair parlor, I'll often find myself on a cardio machine, slack jawed, watching one of the cable news stations on the television consoles. It's not about working out. It's about not being away from a media source for more than 12 seconds. Much like Wall-E's muscle-atrophied obese future humans rushing about in their reclined, t.v.-equipped & slurpee dispensing world, I race to finish a news segment. Two or more alarming things happen to me in this scenario:
1. I sheepishly check out the surrounding machines for like-minded folks watching CNN highlights. If I see this, I can't switch channels. If everyone is on ESPN, I move the clicker to Fox News. Yes, this goes against everything I learned about independent thinking. No, NPR is not on the television at the gym. I wish. I find that Fox News is a) equal to or b) exceeds the "quality/quantity" of information to behold on daytime CNN. I'm not as bothered by FN's ticker. CNN recently changed theirs, but still it withholds pertinent information for each story, creating confusing news bites with no follow up just so it can fit a story into 5 words or less, as follows:
Fox News will continue information in a second or even third "line" on their ticker. Wow. Journalism continues to prove me awed.
2. CNN cannot stop its anchors from introducing their segments with the following variations of the "thank-god-we're-one-of-the-lucky-ones!" clause:
a. "Amy, welcome to the program. I'd just like to say how fortunate we are to have health insurance, when so many people do not. Let's put some numbers up for insurance plans just like you and I have for our families."
b. "John, job cuts were up to new time highs last month. Let's take a moment to be thankful that you and I both still have our jobs in this economic climate."
CNN also had to remind me that the "work from home" emails are....scams.
Just hand me a Slurpee already. And find me a good book to read.