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Overdosed on 24-hour news

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

As I watched the events of the Virginia Tech shooting unfold on television last week I was angered. First, at the fact that some lunatic could just walk into a school building and shoot at teachers and students like he was shooting fish in a barrel. But second, I was angered at the way the television news stations handled the event.

I enjoy watching CNN and the other 24-hour news networks. If I want to know what happened while I was sleeping I can just turn on one of the 24-hour news networks and see what I missed. Plus having these channels means I don't have to watch our local news which means I can actually understand what some of the reporters are saying.

But unfortunately the 24-hour news networks dropped the ball last week. Yes, the Virginia Tech shooting was a major story, but did we have to keep seeing the video taken by the student on his cell phone? After about the 10th time I had it memorized but they kept showing it and showing it. Then they started interviewing the student while the video was playing, asking him what he saw. I can tell you what he saw, it is right there on the stupid video that they showed non-stop for six hours.

The only reason they kept showing the stupid video was because they were waiting to find out what exactly happened. So instead of showing other news that was going on in the world they showed the same footage over and over and over and over again.

I guess the video finally ruined after being played so many times and the stations were forced to come up with something else. Here is where the "experts" enter.

This is where I really started getting agitated. At least the video was actual news and not speculation. But with the "experts" it was all speculation.

For instance one crazy woman, I'm sorry, "expert," was on a channel and was supposed to give us some insight into what kind of person could do something like this. Her reply, "someone who is mentally not all there." Really? I'm glad she told me that because I was having a hard time figuring that out.

Of course at the time this "expert" was being interviewed there was hardly any information being released. However, this "expert" took it upon herself to tell us that the reason this lunatic went on a shooting rampage was because of gun laws in our country, violent video games and pornography on the Internet.

Yeah, somehow this "expert" got pornography on the Internet interlinked with a lunatic on a shooting spree. I still haven't figured how those two things link up but then again I'm not an "expert" with an agenda.

Of course, I changed channels and there is another "expert" blaming gun control and violent video games for the shooting. Keep in mind they still didn't know who the shooter was or why he did it or how he even got the guns. Never mind the fact this lunatic may have never even played a video game or that he might have bought the gun legally (oh, that couldn't have happened -- oh wait, he did), these "experts" were only interested in bringing verification to their political views.

Yet, it goes both ways. I also heard some "expert" claim that if we had less stringent gun laws maybe somebody could have stopped the shooter before he killed so many people. I guess he was insinuating that if one of the other students had been strapped he could have gunned down the shooter before he killed so many.

After about eight hours of seeing the same video and hearing "experts" with agendas I decided that I was through with 24-hour news channels. Instead I will stick to the best media around: newspapers. That's right, because in newspapers we don't have to fill hours and hours of time between reports. We just give you the reports. Not to mention newspapers have columnists like me that are pretty good, too.



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