By Tim Hayes

It’s 5:30 in the blessed a.m.  In these darkening days of late autumn, the world outside remains a solid pitch-black, solemn and quiet as an undisturbed tomb.  The alarm clock erupts.  Time to rouse yourself from a sound sleep, toss off the covers, and climb out of bed.

Remote in hand, the press of a button brings the TV to life.  And, all of a sudden, you remember the real reason why you hate getting up this early.

Local morning news shows.  Ugh.

“Let’s go to Wink Blowdried, who is live at the county courthouse with the latest on this dramatic trial.”

Say, uh, Wink?  It’s 5:30 in the morning.  Where is the value in standing in front of the courthouse at this insane hour?  Nobody’s in court.  Nobody’s anywhere, except the camera guy driving the satellite truck and you, breathlessly telling us the same vapid five sentences every 30 minutes.  And we know you’re just reciting condensed information from this morning’s newspaper, written by a real journalist who actually was in court all day yesterday.


Our local news readers on the morning shows have recently taken to adding their insipid, unwanted, completely unprofessional comments on stories, too.  Drives me nuts.

“Wait ‘til you hear this!”  “Such a tragedy.”  “You’d think he’d have learned by now.”

Stop it!  Stop it!  Stopitstopitstopit!  The news is objective!  If we wanted to hear your lame opinions, we’d ask.  And we’re not asking.  We never have.  We never, ever, ever will.  I feel confident in asserting this viewpoint.

Tell you what, just read whatever’s scrolling up on that teleprompter, toss us to the commercials on time, and that’s really all we could reasonably expect.  Don’t tell me what to think or feel or prepare for, okay?  It’s insulting and unbelievably irritating.

I realize the news readers are only following orders from the news director or the producers of these shows.  My beef, I suppose, should be directed at those people.  So, those people, consider yourselves beefed.

Then there’s the “million watts of power” behind the Severe Storm Fearmonger Weather Center, where we can get the forecast pinpointed right down to our little own cul-de-sac.  My question becomes, how – with all of this awesome firepower at their disposal – do these wizards still remain incapable of predicting a simple snowstorm?

Can’t we go back to the old days, when the news reader took all of 30 seconds to tell us how hot or cold it’s going to be today, tonight, and tomorrow, and whether it’s going to rain or snow.  That’s all we need to know.  El Nino kicking up a ruckus in California yesterday won’t ruin my picnic in Pennsylvania today.  Let me know when trouble’s nearby, and I’ll take it from there, thanks.

Better yet, maybe I’ll just turn the TV off and go back to sleep.

Copyright 2014 Transverse Park Productions LLC and Tim Hayes Consulting