Saturday, February 18, 2012

How dare NBC not mention Arizona's Centennial

Having once toiled as an editorial writer at the Arizona Republic, I'm no stranger to letters to the editor. You haven't lived until you've seen this correspondence in the raw. Combing through the dreck, one ends up asking again and again: Who are these people -- and why, oh why, do they have this pathological need to share the imaginary slights they've suffered as citizens?

Now occasionally, a reader will submit a succinct, thoughtful commentary or observation. Rarer still, the letter will exhibit the well-turned phrase and even wit. Editors love those.

But, as seen in today's Republic, newspapers mostly get this:

"I was disgusted that neither of the national evening newscasts on CBS and NBC on Tuesday congratulated Arizona on its centennial birthday or even mentioned it. This was especially bothersome because the respective local stations (Channels 5 and 12) have provided wide coverage of the event."

Um, disgusted? That's a tad visceral. Let's set aside the fact that most Americans (and a shocking number of Arizonans) have no idea the Grand Canyon State turned 100 this week -- and could care less. What compelled this Sun City resident to shake his fist at the news media and then rush to share his angst with the rest of us? Well, because, presumably, there's nothing better to do in Sun City. (Oh I kid the town.)

And why, for that matter, did the Republic publish his letter in the first place, thereby encouraging more screeds from the likes of Mr. Sun City? Because that's entertainment, folks. And people wonder why newspapers and constructive discourse are seemingly in a death spiral.

No comments:

Post a Comment