Today’s Outrageous News Values

In the Today Show’s intro today, Ann and Matt discussed al Qaeda’s resurgence and Miss New Jersey’s revelation of her (attempted) bribery pictures in the same breath.

Are you kidding me?

Now I’m watching Miss NJ hold back tears and show her stupid photos, and I must repeat:

Are you kidding me?

For once, I’m left speechless.

Return of the Today Show outrage

If I wanted to, I could write about what the Today Show has stolen from the NY Times every day. I just have better things to do with my a.m. time, like finding that perfect mix of soy milk in my morning coffee, or actually reading the NY Times.

But Today’s bit on the Fugees, a youth soccer team of refugees from all over the world, really burned my gourmet beans. You see, the Times ran a fantastic story on them months and months ago. It was the Sunday centerpiece.

I wonder, does Today enjoy robbing stories from other journalists, or are they just too lazy to enterprise anything?

Today’s Outrage: Idol — it’s not over

I thought it was finally safe to turn on the Today Show and not see American Idol updates played like real news.

But today on Today, they’re having an Idol blowout, complete with concerts by this year’s winner and runner up.

Next Today Show Outrage: Post-Timesism. I’m betting that tomorrow, Today will do at least one story that appeared in the NYT earlier this week.

Today’s Idolatrous Ads

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained that the Today Show is an advertising front for American Idol. But today American Idol was in their speedy little 7 a.m. this-is-what-you-really-need-to-know introduction. We’d literally been watching Today for seconds when American Idol came across the screen.

Is there really nothing else of importance to stick in that slot?

Today, you had me at hello (Tom)

The Today Show had a brief shining moment of real news and real interviewing this morning. Tom Brokaw stepped in to interview George Tenet about his new book and the accusations therein.

Matt was somewhere else in the world, and I suppose neither Meredith nor Ann nor Al could be trusted to give Tenet an interview worth his or our time. Brokaw was great, of course, but the sad thing is that we were actually stunned to have to think hard and process hard news on our usually easy-to-digest diet of watered down, mushy-and-sugary-as-Quaker-Instant-Oatmeal morning news.

Thank you, Tom Brokaw. You had us at hello.

Today moms

If I see another segment on the Today Show about moms — today was “Alpha Moms” — I’m going in to get my tubes tied. (I guess I’d better schedule that for Monday, because Today runs a segment every single day without fail.) This woman actually talked about the synergy of Alpha and Mom.

That’s it. I just can’t take it. Synergy? I’m feeling a sudden synergy. It’s the same synergy I sense when I see kids throwing french fries in restaurants (best to just go somewhere classier) or hear babies screaming at the grocery store. It’s a synergy between my brain and my ovaries, with the former shutting down the latter. But there’s another synergy — finger to remote control, changing the channel to get far, far away from the Today Show.

Today, an extension of American Idol

“Is the Today Show just an extension of American Idol?” Jeremy just asked me.

Well, that seems to be the case. They run a segment on the reality show every day. It gets more time than the war, the partial-birth abortion ban, Gonzalez gate, the Wolfowitz controversy — I could go on for a long time here. Why is Sanjaya such a pop phenom? Because shows like Today drone on and on about him. This would all be fine with me if Today didn’t peg itself as a news show. It’s entertainment, with occasional weather reports and news briefs thrown in for good measure.

Today — stealing stories

“Is it harder to be a mom today than it was 20 years ago?”

Today Show, you asked the same question just a few weeks ago after a study came out about how much time moms spend with their children nowadays.

I won’t be watching that segment. But I might have watched the one on affordable Europe — if the NY Times travel section hadn’t run it this weekend.

If you’re not stealing stories from the NYT, Today, you’re taking a page from Swingers — doubling down.

Today’s Outrage — no news is good news?

It’s a good thing we get a newspaper in the morning (two, actually) and read the news online (more RSS feeds than I can count), because if I had to rely on the Today Show for my morning news, this is what I would think is going on in the world:

  • J-Lo is coaching the final eight on American Idol
  • Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole’s baby
  • Espresso will keep you up at night

This is all I would know because I missed the first 30 minutes of the Today Show. This is your only chance to get the news on this show, folks. Miss those first half hour and all you’ve got is the two-minute briefs and celebrity and health news, which is usually common sense stuff like espresso will keep you up at night.

Oh, did you know chocolate contains caffine and can keep you up, too?

The Outrage is back

After a hiatus for completing my MA, the Today Show Outrage is back.

Today loves reality television, and Monday’s show was a love fest. First, Ann interviewed the stars of “Little People, Big World.” Next was a family who was on “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids.” It’s not even 8:30, so there could be more reality TV ahead. But Today should have a one-show minimum when there’s so much going on in the world.