A joke: Two morons (sidebar – it used to be OK to use an ethnic slur here, but those days are gone) are watching a breaking news report on television. It seems a desperate man is poised to jump off a bridge, ready to commit suicide. From the land, sea and air, cameras are trained on the man of the moment. Newscasters breathlessly report every miniscule piece of trivia as it comes in, often repeating themselves when the flow of new info dries up temporarily. One moron says to the other, “I bet you $100 he jumps off the bridge.” The other one takes the bet, and the two go back to ogling the TV set. Minutes later the guy on the bridge does a swan dive toward the icy waters below, only to crash onto the rocks instead – all of the gore and splatter caught on helicopter-cam. The second moron pulls out his wallet in preparation to part with a c-note when the first moron intervenes, “I can’t take your money in good conscience . . . I saw this news clip earlier and I already knew he was going to jump.” To which the second moron replies, “Yeah, I saw the clip too . . . but I never thought he’d jump again.”
This afternoon I walked into a bar (no, this is not another joke, although I did spot two morons) and there on a massive HDTV screen was a CNN breaking news alert about a shooting in Washington, DC just a stone’s throw from the White House and the Capitol – bastions of ineptitude and constructors of the so-called “government shutdown” which, according to the text crawls along the bottom of the screen, may have motivated the violence. As Wolf (the Shitz) Blitzer and his CNN colleagues filled dead air time with repetitive reporting on the incident, the background video kept rolling and rolling in perpetuity: a bland scene of about 1,000 cops and firefighters milling around an abandoned police vehicle. The implication: a crazy bastard upset with the shutdown was on the hunt to bag a senator or congressman. What a story – and the Shitzer kept pimping it.
Then, CNN put up a brand new video (attributed to Alhurra TV out of Iraq (!)) of the following sequence: a car is blocked in against pylons by a few squad cars, heavily armed dudes encircle the offending vehicle, the driver of the car maneuvers out of the tight jam (why didn’t anyone shoot out the tires?), and heads down Pennsylvania Avenue chased by a dozen cop cars – stopping to take a tour of a roundabout before hightailing it a few more blocks. Exciting stuff – even after four or five views. After that, give it a rest CNN.
CNN must think its viewers, like our morons in the joke, will watch raptly as the same scene plays over and over, deluded that one time the outcome will be different. There’s a diagnosis for such behavior – it’s called insanity.
Eventually, CNN’s juicy narrative of a disgruntled American psycho driven to violence by the government shutdown morphed into what seemed to be a women who may have parked illegally in the cordoned-off recesses of inoperative DC , then was surrounded by Kevlar-shrouded men bearing arms, who then panicked and bolted the scene. She had a toddler in the car with her at the time which kind of eliminates the Timothy McVeigh angle. But who knows. Maybe if you watch it 1,000 times Godzilla will eventually emerge from the car and breathe fire upon the National Guard.