Whose idea was it to have news anchors explain what we just saw or to confer congratulations on reporters? There are now so many reasons to avoid watching local news — network promos posed as news, bogus “breaking news” and frenzy-whipped weather forecasts that call for winter weather in January — why degrade the legitimate stuff while further degrading your audiences?
What TV now does far better than ever before is push the vulnerable closer to or beyond their brink. It’s difficult to afflict the well-adjusted, to have them do a 180. Maybe the repetitive, antisocial messages that all forms of entertainment have become reliant upon can move them a few degrees off, but nothing that would have them storm a campus with an AK47. But if the vulnerable are moved even one or two degrees toward or off their brink, if the messages become a prompt…. TV’s always there to give the vulnerable that extra little push, the kind that makes all of us vulnerable.