What’s with the plethora of early morning news shows that routinely feature daily cooking segments at 6:45am? This past Wednesday, for example, WCBS-TV aired a positively revolting segment in which a local Manhattan chef grilled up a bunch of baby back ribs. Even more horrifying was the ersatz delight displayed by the anchors, weather, sports and traffic reporters as they sucked down the artery-clogging food. Indeed, Co-Anchor Mary Calvi actually complained there wasn’t enough BBQ sauce for her ribs. Poor thing.
Early morning cooking segments featuring fatty foods is exactly what this already obese nation doesn’t need. And, irony of ironies, the very same network that aired the baby back ribs at sunrise segment also broadcasts ‘The Doctors’ at 9am. So, in effect, CBS is telling viewers, ‘Do what we say, not what we do.’
I believe the media are a key, and corrosive, contributor to the malaise we, as a nation, are suffering. Gotcha journalism has replaced thoughtful and insightful reporting; tabloid headlines and sleazy photographs have bumped investigative journalism from the front page; and the notion of holding our nation’s leaders accountable for their actions has taken a back seat to promoting irresponsible, if not reckless behavior by the networks themselves (one need only look at the positive deluge of reality TV shows which shine the spotlight on the worst forms of human behavior). Sadly, the Founding Fathers didn’t think of placing checks or balances on the press when they passed the First Amendment. Of course, they couldn’t possibly have imagined a society populated by the likes of Snooki, John Edwards or randy Catholic priests either.
A baby back ribs segment at 6:45 am may not seem like much to you. But, to me, it’s just one more example of an out-of-control media monster that’s doing more harm than good.
I really believe all this triviality and excess is the mass media’s way of keeping us from thinking about the real problems the world faces. For me, the seminal moment was after 9/11. Remember when Bush told us that the best thing we can do is go shopping? That’s not how we won World War II, is it?
The last time I ate baby back ribs was with Ed (though not at 6:45am). I was dating a vegetarian whom I later married. I’m still not certain which had more impact on my decision to give up red meat and pork.
Amen, Steve. Home run on that post.