Monday, May 18, 2009

Incompetence really bothers me

Normally my blog posts begin with sports, but as someone in the media what I am seeing unfold right now is incredibly irritating to me. It is 12:05 eastern as I type this. There was an earthquake in Los Angeles at 11:40 Sunday night. I know this because I have read about it from multiple people, including Ice-T, on my Twitter feed. Here is what is on the four national "news channels" more than half an hour after the earthquake: Larry King and Elizabeth Edwards on tape on CNN, Jane Velez with more Caylee Anthony talk via tape on HLN, Lockup on MSNBC, and "Red Eye" on Fox. Not one of them even has a bulletin running across the bottom of the screen after an estimated 5.0 earthquake in our second biggest city. Want to know why the traditional broadcast network news model is dying? This is your answer. Both ESPN and Fox Sports Radio are talking about the quake, because they're on top of things. Why should I watch these TV outlets when there's breaking news if this is the crap they're serving up when it happens at an inconvenient time? Ice-T - the most trusted name in news - it really has a ring to it.

A lot of people will assume the TV networks are sad that Boston was throttled by Orlando in game seven last night. Unless you're a Celtics fan, you shouldn't be. The Magic versus Cleveland will be a much more entertaining series than the used up Boston squad would have provided. Once Garnett was lost, any chance of a Celtics repeat was as well. If Orlando doesn't get caught up in their victory and let down mentally, they have a great chance of advancing to the Finals.

My Saturday night was spent in Charlotte at Lowe's Motor Speedway watching Tony Stewart win the NASCAR All-Star Race. NASCAR has always been a sport people have discussed with me the way I do the NHL with someone who's never seen hockey - you've got to see it in person to appreciate it. I came away impressed with what the drivers can do, but it's definitely not my cup of tea. For the first 50 laps, absolutely nothing happened. For the final ten laps, things got pretty wild and it was interesting. Next week's race is 600 miles though, and won't have the million dollar incentive and the lack of point risk that prompted the interesting ending. I can't even remotely imagine sitting through three times as many laps as we saw two nights ago.

I've always been a believer that if you are invited to visit the White House by the president, you should go whether he shares your views or not. Most of the time, that's what happens although there are occasionally folks who just can't cross the political divide. Mark Chmura was far too moral to go there with the Packers when Bill Clinton was in office, for example. Now a member of the Steelers has announced he won't be making the trip, for possibly the weirdest reason ever. Linebacker James Harrison says that since Obama wouldn't have invited Pittsburgh if they lost the Super Bowl, he's not going now that they did. Hey James, if McCain had won would you have wanted to visit Obama at his Senate office? If not, then this reasoning makes you look like a complete idiot.

Periodically a story makes news about someone impersonating a police officer. Sometimes it's for sinister purposes, but often it's just some guy who just wants to indulge his inner Ponch and Jon. Those guys are weird, but this guy takes the cake. How messed up in the head do you have to be to call the real police for backup on your traffic stop when you're a pretend cop?

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