Saturday, June 26, 2004

Putting The U-R-I-N-A-L Back In Journalism

Say what you want about the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News, but there's not a media outlet on this planet (or any other for that matter) that consistently breaks more news stories than the WWN. Just yesterday, I was shocked to learn of the Pope's near-death experience after being hit by a falling meteor. Did "fair and balanced" Fox News bother to share this with the American people? You decide. All I know is WWN not only had this exclusive bombshell, amazingly one of their intrepid photogs actually captured this horrifying moment on film! What luck!

Having worked in both local and national newsrooms, I can report to you with some authority that the only real difference between outlets such as CNN and the WWNs of the world is the number of credible sources needed to verify a story and put it on the air. CNN's minimum number is zero; Weekly World News' is slightly lower.

The truth is, nothing in Weekly World News is any goofier than the stuff of my dreams. For years, I've had this recurring quasi-nightmare that the light goes on in a radio studio signaling the beginning of my sportscast, and I'm dashing in at the last minute...without my script. So I stumble through 60 seconds of ad-lib audio gobbledygook. (Some of you who've actually heard me on the air are saying, "How does this differ from his real sportscasts?" To you I say, "Gobbledygook!")

Seriously, what is that all about? Does anyone else dream such things? My dad has led worship in churches for 50 years. He says he still dreams he's on stage ready to begin when he looks down at his book only to find a song he's never seen before.

I've even heard of a particular pontiff who kept dreaming a large object would come crashing down on him from the heavens. You would've heard about it, too, if the mainstream media would've done its job for once and actually reported the news. Maybe they couldn't find their scripts.


Joel said...

I miss the days of "good old fashioned" journalism when papers covered such hot topics as class officers failing to bus their trays or failing to pass their classes.

Oddly enough, (proof of just how twisted we both are) I too, saw that picture of the pope getting nailed! Did you see his face? Priceless photography.

Gobbleycricket. I'm out! Rack me.

Matt Elliott said...


I've had three different versions of such dreams:

1 - A recurring nightmare in which I am a grad student again and a huge project is due the next day. Not only have I not started the project, but also I had completely forgotten that I was enrolled in the course and hadn't attended in weeks!

2 - When I was teaching at Greater Atlanta Christian School, I had the same dream almost every summer. I dreamt it was the first day of class and not only was my syllabus unprepared, but also every inch of my classroom was crammed with desks -- so much so that we had to walk on top of them to enter the room.

3 - Finally, I have dreamed more than once that it's time for worship to begin -- and I'm a worship leader for those other than Grant who read this -- and I'm stuck out in the parking lot of Campus Church -- SHIRTLESS. And desperately seeking someone who can provide me a shirt!

Weird stuff.

Love to Amy and the fam.