Do you know what I’ve discovered? I’m a crawl-news-line crack addict. For those of you unfamiliar with this addiction, it is the inability to watch the news without simultaneously reading the news ticker line that scrolls along the bottom third of most TV news that features minor pieces of irrelevant shit (i.e., “Sex tape of John Edwards and his mistress to be destroyed following trial”). And I know the exact date I got hooked. When Sarah Palin was questioned by Katie Couric about what newspapers she read to form her political opinions and Sarah couldn’t answer that simple, non-threatening question, I panicked! How could a person running for the second highest office in the land not know her news sources? I was a woman, and a Christian. Would the media think that we all were that out-to-lunch and misinformed? I had nightmares of being stopped on the street by Katie, or Anderson, or Bryan, or Wolf and being asked the same question as “Miss-I-can-see-Alaska-from-my-house-Palin.” Well, hells-bells Charlie Brown, I made a pledge to not only beef up my extensive news reading list, but I made a declaration to never go without news input—in any form ever again—as God is my witness. So every morning I get on the treadmill and for 60-75 minutes I listen to the news, religiously read the news crawls at the bottom of the screen, and give running commentary as if being interviewed by Mika Brzezinski while I pace myself to Bruno Mars and the Black Eyed Peas. I am queen of the news crawl world, hear me roar!
It was a few years ago when I started the trend of keeping up with the crawls, and all was going well until recently. You could ask me anything about anything and I could fill you in at a moment’s notice. Katie Couric wasn’t going to catch me unawares—no siree, babe. But last week something dreadful happened: I discovered I could no longer see the news crawl scrolling by from my position on the treadmill! At first I thought my glasses were dirty but after maniacally cleaning them with every solvent in the house, I fled to my ophthalmologist’s office shaking from head to toe and unable to keep the tremor from my voice and my hands as I screamed: “I NEED A FIX, DOC!”
“You’ve got to help me. I can’t take this. I can’t see the news crawl on Morning Joe and the Today Show, anymore. How the hell am I supposed to stay informed? What if Rachel Maddow invites me on her show for an in-depth interview and I end up being compared to Sarah Palin? You’ve got to help me, dude!”
All’s well that ends well, because the doc was able to give me a temporary “fix” of a new prescription for my glasses. And just in the nick of time, too. I had missed so much information! One day of by-passing the news crawl and you’re out for the count. Just today as I was charging up my 8.0 incline, the news crawls gave me the Inner City Blues and, like Marvin Gaye said, “made me want to holler and throw up both my hands!” As my readers, I wanted you to know what I’m up against every day. Below is a sample of the news crawls I followed this week to keep myself entertained.
Buttfire/The Car Lounge/Google Image
NEWS CRAWL: Extended exposure to car seat heaters can cause Toasted Skin Syndrome. . . .
Me: “WTF! I love my butt-seat warmer in my Chrysler minivan. The government better not make a ruling banning these, no matter how many asses are set aflame. This is where I draw the line with government involvement: feed the poor, house the homeless, job the jobless, educate our children well, but keep your hands of my ass-warmers. I will have to become a Republican and fight them on this if my seat-warmer is disconnected. My ass is my ass and if it goes up in flames on a cold winter’s morn on my way to work, then so be it!”
Skyline Drive—Blue Ridge Mountains/Photo by J Tomczyk
NEWS CRAWL: East Coast asking: What the heck happened to winter . . . ?
Me: I know what happened to winter; I bought my husband, WW, a snow blower! And not just any ol’ snow blower—one that is the size of a small house and is self-propelled with its own headlights. I did this because, unlike Rick Santorum, I believe in global warming and the past two snow storms have been proof of it. Snow was up the wazoo on our property, and all I could see in my mind’s eye was my man keeling over from a heart attack from shoveling endless snow because of the extreme weather we were having due to the shift in the global climate patterns. Of course, everyone from my Cambodian electrician to my corporate exec boss told me that by purchasing a snow blower of such magnitude, I was guaranteeing the East Coast a winter without snow. Works out well because it’s allowing more time for WW and me to do what we love: travel! (Thank you notes can be sent to my blog email expressing gratitude for me being the reason for this season.)
NEWS CRAWL: Anti-gravity yoga lets you hang head-first like bats to ramp up workout. . . .
Me: REALLY!? Seriously, insane people; have you seen my first attempt at being suspended in air? Do you honestly suggest I do your yoga suspension exercise after viewing this? Really?
Photo by J Tomczyk
(Note Blogger doing long-forgotten pregnancy breathing to keep from fainting.)
NEWS CRAWL: Palin’s emails reveal marital problems. . . .
Sarah Palin/Google/Getty Image
Me: Really? R-E-A-L-L-Y? Wait a minute, here. Didn’t McCain say she had been fully vetted before being picked as his sidekick? Also, I thought Sarah vociferously denied that she and ol’ Todd were ever in a divorcing state of mind when confronted by her low-life “soon to be son-in—law’s” news crawl, “Levi says: ‘I’m hiding “HUGE” things about the Palins.” She hunkered down and called him a liar (of course I would have done the same thing with that piece of work.)
Hum . . . but where there is smoke there is fire, so I hopped off the treadmill with 30 minutes left of my workout in order to look up this story online just to learn that that particular news item was slightly misleading (you have to watch out for these types of teaser crawls—they are not always accurate). The news crawl was referencing a time before John McCain screwed the country over with his cynical pick of Sarah for VP. Becky Boher from Huffingtonpost states that “The emails indicate her (Sarah Palin) job had taken a toll on her marriage long before she even became McCain’s running mate. In a Sept. 26, 2007, email to Kris Perry and her husband Todd, titled ‘Marital Problems,’ Palin writes: ‘So speaking of… If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell “conflict of interest” accusations about BP?’ Her husband was a former BP employee on the North Slope.”
Google Image/I am luscious download
NEWS CRAWL: GOP Virginia Lawmaker says wife wouldn’t have sex because of his support for transvaginal ultrasound bill
Me: I literally fell off the treadmill from laughter when I read this crawler. NO SEX FOR YOU, MY REPUB BOY! I found the story in Huffingpost and it made my day. Apparently State Del. Albo was one of the supporters of the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound bill that a bunch of crusty ol’ white men put together that Virginia Governor (“I’ve lost my freakin’ mind”) O’Donnell had promised to sign once it reached his desk. After significant push-back from the women of Virginia and signs that O’Donnell’s political career was sinking faster than a cinder block dropped into the Rappahannock River, the “rape by instruments” portion of the bill was modified, although the remainder of the bill still leaves much to be desired. On the day of the modification of the bill, good ol’ Del. Albo was feeling a little randy (a man can get that way from thinking about how to invade vaginas) and went home to seduce his wife. He dimmed the lights, poured some wine, popped in the Luther Vandross CD, and turned on the Redskins’ Channel (apparently The Wife gets turned on by watching the Washington team)—hey, whatever floats your boat! Just as good ol’ boy Albo was ready to do the wild thang, a news story about the machinations of Governor Bob McDonnell’s career-terminating “modified” bill emphasized that it bullies women with medically unnecessary waiting periods and ultrasound requirements. Del. Albo’s wife, had an “aha” moment upon realizing her husband’s part in the debacle, turned off the TV and announced, “I have to go to bed,” according to Del. Albo’s recounting of the scenario in the House of Delegates. The news crawl tomorrow should read: State delegate fails to “score” due to news of vaginal probe; one less Republican will be joining the ranks. I think I’m going to put this story in Rick Santorum’s suggestion box for the Republicans to utilize in place of contraception: Threaten to yank women back to the 1950’s, “no nookie for you!”
I am discovering that my regular news sources (8—count them Sarah—8) give me the serious fleshed-out news that I need to sound intelligent and stay informed, but my news crawlers, more often than not, give me a huge laugh because they are simply theater of the absurd. Which begs the question, why the hell do we have them in the first place? They move much too fast to catch the first go round and if you have an anal personality like mine, you become obsessed with waiting for the particular news crawl to circle back so that you can catch the second half of the sentence of something that you didn’t need to know in the first place. Aren’t there better things to do in life?
Author/J Tomczyk Photo
“The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were.” David Brinkley
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