Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Wednesday, April 6

Most Cynical Television Show in America

I first became aware of the problem several years ago. I was telling my neighbor that the air conditioning repairmen were coming to my house and not to be alarmed if she saw men in my backyard.

‘Ohhh,’ She said, alarmed, ‘Be careful. They’ll pee in your backyard.’

‘Miss McManus,’ I said, ‘First, I pee in my backyard. Second, I offer anyone who comes in my door a glass of water and the use of the restroom. Third, who told you that this was a problem?’

The answer and winner of today’s contest?

Primetime Live

This particular episode was done years ago, clearly with the intent of catching repairmen doing damage to the units. When they did not find that, they did a huge, meaningless story on peeing.

Six of the past seven stories done recently seemed specifically designed to make people fear their fellow man.

Their titles:
  • What to Do If You Become a Stalking Victim
  • ‘Pill Cities’ Part of Southern Steroid Scare
  • Man Savagely Beaten After Police Officer Party
  • Teen Killer Has No Remorse
  • How Abductors Get Willing Victims

(And the story I deemed ‘not overtly cynical’ was titled: Inside a Maximum Security Women’s Prison.)

It’s the kind of show that parodies itself, so I won’t bother coming up with titles even more sensational and pointless than theirs.

Hey Quiñones, I know you report ‘on such diverse topics as the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, the plight of conjoined twins and the ongoing search for the notorious Zodiac killer,’ but you might try to include a story on how your show is damaging Americans’ faith in one another.

And Sawyer, have you ever considered doing an exclusive, tearful interview with yourself about how your career has denigrated into frightening people’s grandmothers?


Blogger Niall66 writes:

I want to sign that petition!


Blogger dan writes:

I hate scaremongering. I was at a family function this weekend and overheard some people talking about how "times have changed so much" and they are sad that their kids can't bike up to the park alone anymore, like their parents were able to when they were little. It pissed me off. It's not any less safe to let your kid go to the park alone now than it was 30 years ago if you look at the crime rates per capita. Their poor kids are probably cooped up every day in their house, unable to go visit friends or bike up to the store, because their inbecile parents saw an episode of Dateline once that implied (by means of sensationalist journalism) that child rape and kidnapping have reached epidemic levels. People just watch too much TV. Scaredy cats.


Blogger Damon writes:

Off topic. I realized a few moments ago, while posting on my own, that I'm just a little jealous you have people that comment on your journal. Just a little. It gives my regret a pang that my own social dereliction has left me at this juncture.

I also realized, several days ago, that we both have friends with "Obsolete Vernacular" as their blog title. So there.


Post a Comment


Medical Records

Season Three

Season Two

Season One