Views on the news
I don’t watch the news nearly as much as I used to. Does anyone? Drones in the Ukraine, the convoy, floods in Pakistan, students shot in the classroom, lockdowns, hurricanes. I’m sorry to say that such travesties have become so regular that they all run into one another. When I do watch the evening television news, it is certainly not CTV, my former mainstay. Some executive’s ageist and sexist comments caused Lisa LaFlamme to lose her job and I disappeared at the same time.
I might watch the first ten minutes of The National but CBC News is not what it used to be. Once a commercial comes along, I’m gone. However, I must declare that having just one host is a vast improvement over the four-headed monster that CBC created a few years back.
What does all this say about me, a career journalist and author? I’m not looking for fuzzy-wuzzy news about racoons caught in balustrades or footage of a large dog nuzzling a baby. But I am tired of what’s presented, oftentimes by reporters who are nowhere near the scene, and are just repeating what everyone else is saying. Of course, that’s always safe. At least your boss can’t complain you missed something.
At lot of the trouble flows because we hear online bits and pieces throughout the day from, say, Apple News. By the time you hear the news at night, everything already seems old. Only the CBC’s Tom Walters seems able to put a new spin on things. The American networks at 6:30 are too U.S.-centric. CNN has more panels than a wooden shed. Where to turn?
For the moment, I turn to nature: sunsets, a full moon, fall walks, the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune, and a good book. I’m currently re-reading Robert Caro’s series on Lyndon Johnson. I’m in volume four, right at the point where Jack Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson assumed office, and gave his first speech to Congress. And I’m waiting for Caro’s much-promised fifth and final volume. Three years ago, when Caro published his memoir, Working, I thought it meant volume five was almost ready. Another publishing season is upon us with no Johnson book apparent. But with such sights as I’ve described all around me, and someone’s graceful words in my head, I can survive and thrive. Without the news.