10 Annoying Things on TV News

All the postgraduate degrees in fancy foreign schools, all those claims to objectivity, balance, professionalism reduced to...this.



1. Saying the program’s name in chorus
All those postgraduate degrees in fancy foreign schools, all those claims to objectivity, balance, professionalism reduced to... this. How does that make you any different from "Wonder Twins’ power, activate!" or "Autobots, transform!"

2. Wanton use of the term "exclusive."
Before it used to be about breaking scoops about military coups, political coverups, and assassinations. Now it’s about two scooters crashing into each other in a dark street in Valenzuela.

3. Giving a big headline its own dramatic OBB
Like, this is event so earthshaking. An ugly legacy of Fox News and CNN.

4. Reporting stupid motorcycle accidents
Because scooters driven by dumb drunks without helmets are already about as ordinary as people taking the MRT. Stop it already. Less motorcycle collisions- and more sex video scandals, please.

5. Treating a single man-on-the-street interview as if vox populi
"Mga Pinoy... pabor sa Charter Change!" Then it turns out that they only interviewed the most moronic bum they could find on the corner of Quezon Avenue. Who thought he was being asked about ballroom dancing.


6. Newscasters wearing distracting outfits
Sometimes the bigger tragedy is not the capsized passenger ship nor the slum-area fire that killed 1,000 people. It’s that yellow-red tinsel-trimmed dress that makes you look like a goddamned Christmas tree.

7. Interviewers asking the obvious.
Actor wins her fifth award, goes down the stage. A microphone thrust to her supernaturally happy face and she is asked the multimillion peso question: "How do you feel?" Let us pause for a moment to analyze. An important critical body has given you the highest honor for your work. What possible answers can you come up with? We reflect on the possibilities:

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A. "Duh. I’m soooo sad."
B. "Actually, I should have won Best Cinematographer."
C. "Feel? The philosopher David Hume distinguished between impressions and ideas. Impressions are made on the mind when we directly experience anything. Ideas do not arise directly from experience, but are formed from previous impressions. For example, one’s idea of a table or of a triangle is based on previous impressions and experiences of those things. We can form ideas of things we have never experienced, but only by combining previous experiences in new ways."
D. (A la Alice Dixson) "I can feel it.... Bwah."

8. Those self-serving promos.
"As a journalist, I make sure I get both sides. Objectivity is important, blah blah blah... Sensationalism is a no-no." All precious nuggets of wisdom that should come in handy when reporting about that drunken scooter accident in Valenzuela.

9. Live, on-the-spot remote reporting
We get it, we get it: it’s a big-ass storm and you take your spiels seriously. Now for chrissakes get out of the floodwater before you catch psoriasis.


10. The fake banter when the closing credits roll
Of course, they’ll look even more stupid just standing stiff while the studio lights dim and the cameras pull away. But most of the time, it looks so fake and awkward. Sometimes you wonder what they’re really talking about.

A. "You feeling Thai or Italian?"
B. "I’m still more famous than you, bitch."
C. "You’re from Ateneo and you can’t pronounce ’mise en scene?’"
D. "Hey, baby. What say we come over to my house and watch that scandal video?"
E. "My husband knows. This affair is over."

This is a Crazy Planets is available in newsstands, bookstores and supermarkets nationwide for only P195. For more information, click here.

Artwork by Warren Espejo.

To read Lourd’s previous blog posts, click here.

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