Yesterday Grace had a playdate at our friend’s house, which involved trudging through the snow between the backyards. Of course, I could have gone the long way round and taken the sidewalks, which would have allowed me to take the stroller, but it’s just too far. That, and the guy who’s supposed to clear the sidewalks does a horrible job, so I doubt I could have gotten anywhere with the stroller.
So here I am, slogging through the icy snow, carrying a good 30 pounds of infant and carrier, and it was just Too Much. I had to stop and rest several times on my way there, which was so frustrating as I never usually have to stop. But trekking through the snow was horrible. The top was icy, so every step had me breaking through to the snow below, and since the snow is six inches deep, I really had to pick my feet up to take the next step.
I had to stop twice, and it’s only a few houses down! I swear there was lead hidden in Mary Ellen’s car seat. My arm was trembling by the time I got to my friend’s home. I took the carrier with the idea that she would have somewhere to sit, but then she spent the whole time laying on my friend’s couch. I won’t make that mistake again, that’s for sure! Next time I’ll just carry her.
While the kids played in the bedroom, my friend and I sat out in the living room and chatted. She had the tv on as background noise, and it was tuned to Fox News.
Hey, it wasn’t my house! I don’t even let Kurt watch it. “Fair and balanced”? I don’t think so. If you enjoy it because you’re of a conservative slant, then more power to you. But it really bothers me that its tagline is “fair and balanced.”
See, I get my news from BBC America. What I want from a news station is a person behind the desk delivering the news in a matter-of-fact way. I don’t want it to be cutesy’d up. I don’t want talking heads giving me nine different opinions. I don’t want to hear sniping between the host and his guests. All I want is the news.
I really noticed the shift in the news when I started getting up early enough to take Grace to school. There is nothing on tv before 9am, so I would just flick it to CNN or Headline News or MSNBC to catch some of the news before I headed out. My first preference was for Headline News, as I remembered it as being a looped hour or two of news presented by an anchorperson, sort of like the network’s nightly news, but in a longer format. Yes, I used to watch Headline News in high school and college. Don’t judge.
Imagine my shock when I turned on Headline News to find that there are shows every couple of hours, hosted by different people. And instead of presenting the news stories, one right after another, the hosts would fixate on a topic and talk it to death. Look, folks, I thought that’s what we had the Today Show for. That’s what CNN and the other news channels are for. Headline News is supposed to be the place to get a quick update on what’s going on in the world.
Not only that, the morning person on Headline News is one of the most perky women I have ever seen in my life, far more perky than I can deal with through bleary, sleep-deprived eyes before I’ve had even one sip of coffee. She has an extremely annoying voice to boot, and sounds like she hasn’t come within fifty feet of a broadcasting school, though Wikipedia says she has a degree in programming and performance. My father went to broadcasting school, you see, and uses a totally different voice in his voice-overs from his usual conversational tone. He’s got a very pleasing voice to listen to anyhow (or at least I find it so), but his broadcasting voice adds a deeper timber and makes you sit up and take note of what he’s saying. The morning woman on Headline News? Yeah, not so much. Or at all, really.
And why do all the female anchorpeople look like freakin’ Barbie dolls anyhow? I don’t know who it was, but the woman on Fox News yesterday morning had false eyelashes out to here and eyeliner that would make a raccoon proud. At 11am in the morning! People, you fuss about Michelle Obama not being formal enough in her dress; let’s look at our news people! Sure, the men are still wearing ties, but the women look like beauty queens on full display. What’s next, the bikini round?
I don’t need my newscaster to be my friend either. Don’t laugh and joke and try to endear yourself to me. Give me the news straight, like Peter Jennings did! Whatever happened to the Peter Jenningses of the world?? (As I slink off to the corner to mourn the death of Peter Jennings, again.)
This, folks, is why I stick to BBC America. I only wish there were a 24-hour BBC World News America channel where I could get my news at any time of the day or night. As it is, I have to fight with Kurt when I want to watch it in the evening or at night since he gets plenty of news from the internet. But sometimes watching a news story just makes it click inside my brain, and BBC World News America does the best job. I’m not just told what’s going on in my country, but I’m also given the impact of our news on the rest of the world so I can see the ramifications of our actions, instead of being blind to what the rest of the world is experiencing. Straightforward and to the point. That may indeed be their tagline (it sounds familiar), and they certainly live up to it.
Oh, and there are no Barbie dolls on the show either. That helps. A lot.