JUST GIVE ME THE NEWS
I choose not to have television service because of the news channels. B. W. L. (Before Wallowa Life) I had noticed the news anchors, especially Brian Williams of NBC, gained too much pleasure in telling me the worst news possible. Brian would tell me what happened, what I should think about what happened, and that I should be upset about what happened.
I guess Jack Webb of Dragnet personifies the kind of news listener I am, “The facts, ma’am. Just give me the facts.”
I didn’t need someone telling me what to think of the news… I can think for myself.
I didn’t need encouragement to get disturbed about the news. I’m all about peace.
After spending 25 minutes telling me how screwed up the world was, Mr. Williams would wrap it up in a pretty package with the closing segment “Making a Difference.”
So my “watching the news” experience felt like this: “We’re all about to be nuked. You and your family are going to die. But the good news is a little girl saved a butterfly today.”
I simply don’t need that.
Amazingly, I discover what’s newsworthy just by being out and about.
“How are your kids?” a friend will ask me at the post office, her worried look signifying something may be wrong.
“Ok, I guess. Why do you ask?”
“Yesterday Texas had hailstones the size of baseballs. Someone was killed when one came through the windshield.”
She doesn’t know what part of Texas or that the state is as large as the universe, so the storm could have happened anywhere. I return home and thankfully learned on the Internet it was 300 miles north of my children.
I could call my sons about this, but this is how those conversations go…
Me: “How’s it going?”
“I heard y’all had storms.”
“Yeah.” Long silence as I wait for further explanation. Nothing.
“Are y’all okay?”
“What part of the state were they in?”
“I don’t know.” (Not “I’ll have to check and see.”)
His brother Matthew is even worse.
The lack of verbal effusion from these two 30-somethings astounds me, because when I go for a visit, they are constantly on the phone.
Notwithstanding, by the time you read this, I will be immersed within my family, including six week old grandchild (#6) whose middle name is Katherine.
Now THAT’S news worth reporting.
Originally published April 27, 2016 in the La Grande Observer newspaper. Reprinted with permission.