I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.
“The British news report programme ‘Tonight With Trevor MacDonald’ delivered an ill-considered attack on gaming habits yesterday, with a program designed to highlight the ‘epidemic’ of game addiction,” he reports.
“Wheeling out various acne-riddled, overweight children and teenagers to illustrate the problems of obsessive gaming, the program attempted to illuminate the issue with a series of unsavoury and unrepresentative anecdotes, such as one Dutch gentleman who urinated in a bottle so that he didn’t have to leave his PC, and a child who screamed and bawled if he had his games taken away from him. (His gamepad was actually snatched out of his hands in the clip shown, presumably to deliberately provoke the worst reaction possible for the camera.)
“The program was, as such loaded reports tend to be, an attempt to portray a minority of gamers as somehow representative of (or even tenuously connected with) the vast, toilet-trained, non-suicidal majority of people who enjoy games. The pleas of ‘helpless’ parents were, I’m afraid, a little pathetic. Unplug the consoles, enforce some household rules. Third party interventions are far from a necessity here…”
It’s an excellent piece that ably unmasks the greater and more terrifying spectre of calculated hysteria so much British television news currently trades in. This brings to mind a recent post on John Walker’s blog in which he rants gracefully about our current British news teams and their vapid reporting.
Of most interest are the videos he posts of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann – a pit-bull of a news commentator on the programme, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. These clips throw into sharp relief the guff that currently passes for, firstly reporting, and secondly editorial commentary in the vast majority of British broadcasting newsrooms these days.
Believe it or not Olbermann started on ESPN where he was a fantastic sports broadcaster. A salary dispute with the company – as a rising star he wanted the same money as such luminaries as Berman and Patrick – led to his resignation and a subsequent job with FoxSports. After a few years he moved into news journalism and it’s clear from these clips that he’s really found his vocation, excellent as he is at analysis and commentary and being just as hard on the left as he is the right in the search of The Truth.
As one of my US friends said when I mentioned our increasing need for a Brit Olbermann: “You can borrow him, but we’ll need him back.”
*er, the title is a reference to the glorious film Network, any concerned but cinematically-maleducated friends/ readers.