Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What passes for "News" in L.A.

Lilo (that's Lindsay Lohan to those of you who have lives...) is the top story in L.A. news today. Not just on gossip sites like Defamer or TMZ.com. But over and over again on local network news. Not just a brief mention once, but every fifteen minutes. A story about the "Rise and Fall of Lindsay Lohan" (did I miss the rise? Seriously--when was that?), a story about whether or not Rehab works (in Lilo's case--apparently not!), a statement from her lawyer, an update on her status (back in rehab--maybe the third time's the charm!).

All this for a 21 year-old actress whose biggest claim to fame is the staggering number of times she's graced the cover of tabloids. The panty-less crotch shots, the lesbian torture porn photos, the camera phone video of her snorting cocaine, the hissy-fit "Behave yourself young lady" letter from a studio head, her tumultous "relationships". When does she even have time to "act"?

It's not unbelievable that our local news stations would waste airtime on an airhead (or perhaps "cokehead" is a more accurate term) like Lohan. After all, they specialize in broadcasting non-news. Like the one day it rains in SoCal and it's "StormWatch 2007." You've got reporters staked out in Malibu praying for a mudslide so that the crew can get video of some multi-million dollar mansion sliding down a hill. Most of the time it just drizzles. So much for "StormWatch 2007."

But my all-time favorite is the in-depth coverage and reporting of the car chases. Not that there's anything else going on in the world. We have to watch some bozo weaving through the streets of Encino or racing up the 5 freeway for freaking HOURS! As long as it takes. Wouldn't want to miss the part where the loser finally blows out all four tires, comes to a screeching halt and is pulled out of his vehicle by the CHP who beats the @#$% out of him. After being forced to watch this for hours, I'm ready to beat the @#$% out of him!

And all the anchorbots run the same patterns. Call up some muckety-muck from the CHP who knows NOTHING. "I can't answer that. That's unknown at this point in time. I can't speculate as to what motivated the bozo to drive the wrong way on the 5 freeway." The anchorbots ask questions about procedure. "Will you be attempting a PIT MANEUVER or do you plan to lay down a SPIKE STRIP?" I swear the anchorbots live for saying "PIT MANEUVER."

Anchorbot: What do we have up for the broadcast?

Producer: We have some bozo in Encino who ran a stop sign and won't pull over for the cops.

Anchorbot: Oh goody! I get to say "PIT MANEUVER."

Eventually it ends. And always the same way. They might as well just pull out the video of car chase #78, plug it in and take a long bathroom break. It's like the television version of playing "Freebird." We'd never know the difference. Car speeding along. Cops behind. Helicopter above. Lather, rinse, repeat. Is this news?

Given that I've never seen a car chase where the bozo GOT AWAY, I wonder why the fuck they don't just PULL OVER! Haven't they ever watched a car chase on the news? If they've seen one, they've seen a dozen and they all END the SAME WAY! Do they think they're going to get away? Personally I think the bozos think--"Oh goody! Car chase. I get to be on the NEWS! And some anchorbot will say "PIT MANUEVER!"

I wonder if the media coverage in fact incites car chases. Without TV tracking every single move, would it be worth it to the bozo being chased? If a car chase happens in L.A. and the media doesn't televise it, would it make a difference? Perhaps it would be as noiseless as the tree in the forest. Perhaps the bozo being chased would just pull over with a wordless whimper instead of going out with a highly publicized bang. Perhaps the media attention created the non-stop Lindsay Lohan fuck-ups rather than just reporting on it.

After all, if Lilo fucked up and it DIDN'T make headlines, what would be the point?

Would it make a sound? Would anyone care?

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