Tuesday, August 22, 2006

NPR leads with Jon Benet Ramsey (Winer)

Dave Winer notes that (even) NPR is leading with the Jon Benet Ramsey story in their 11:00 am newscast. Sez Dave, "The third story, a plane crash in Ukraine, 170 people died, including 45 children."

Oops. And now, I'm leading with it. (Well, no. I'd prefer to think I'm leading with the meta-Jon Benet Ramsey story. Namely, why is the story kidnapping the news? Everywhere?)

Perhaps it's because JBR the perfect story for a world where news has devolved into Entertainment. High interest, low consequence. The story itself connects to nothing. (compare to the complexity of the middle east, with Muslim factionalism, secularism, Islamism--which is something more than Islam... or something less?-- European imperialism, oil, hegemony, Zionism, Christianity, terrorism all knit together in a stew that perpetually makes fools of the wisest among us. Compare to the intricacies of the Plame leak.)

Here's a creepy looking little girl killed. And a creepy looking little man confesses. Commercial networks get to turn their newscasts into el cheapo knockoffs of 'Law & Order,' and 'CSI.' Ratings bonanza? If one does it, they all need to do it.

OK, I get all that, but NPR? Whatever happened to counter-programming.

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