Tickers and "Breaking News"

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld said it best, talking about CNN.. (You'll have to pretend you're hearing Jerry's voice for this part..) 

"So I'm watching CNN and they've got the news show going.. and I'm peeking down at that little ticker on the bottom.  So which one do you want me to watch.. the ticker or the show?  I can't watch both of them at the same time!"

Have you found yourself in that situation every night?  Boy, I just cannot watch the headlines and the news program all at the same time and comprehend it all.  I am a ticker freak.. along with checking the newswires, and now even better, newspapers updated web pages.  (I'm hooked up to the New York Times, and receive top stories instantly from the Washington Post.)  I'm not so much of am actual newspaper reader anymore, unless I'm out of town or on vacation, and can really look through each page.  Tickers are my cup of tea.. a crawling cornucopia of news or entertainment or sports headlines just waiting to reveal themselves to you!   Sometimes I read the words on the right, just as they're coming on the screen.  Other times, I wait for the suspense and keep my eyes to the left of the screen so I can see the whole story.   I just can't believe some of the breaking news I see there.. which leads me to something else I want to talk about with you.

While I think the real breaking news arrives on the tickers..  don'tcha think the networks and cable programs are tossing those words.. BREAKING NEWS.. around way too much??  What's so breaking about John McCain giving Sean Hannity an interview tonight about Barack Obama's trip?  What's so breaking about Obama shaking hands with the President of Pakistan?  Pretty soon, we'll all be de-conditioned to seeing BREAKING NEWS flashing on the screen.   Now, breaking news to me would be Tim Russert's fatal heart attack, or the Presidential candidates choices of running mates.. that might be a good one.  We'd better be very careful about what the cable labels as BREAKING NEWS.. I'd prefer "THIS JUST IN.."  Peace out..  Ralph


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