Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Bitch and Moan In Me About The New Bay Bridge And Journalism Or Lack Of It; Here I Go Again; Tuesday Media Culture
Yes I've been bitching a lot more lately. Maybe I'm in a dream world. I expect a lot more out of you and you continue to underwhelm me. Most of the masses too.
You've all become a bunch of carnival barkers. I've never witnessed a more embarrassing act of local reporting self-indulgence than this past week.
This is news.
This is not. Come to think of it, we need more of this and less of this.
Go ahead and call me an asshole. I just don't like the pack mentality; we've have all been barraged with a shitload of pre-coordinated Caltrans infomercials. The public is taking it in and some are even enjoying it--do they have a choice? It's all they're being fed.
Look, there is no doubt a legitimate--a very legitimate story has finally happened. The build-up, the relentless chirping, the over-hyped program, I don't buy and never will. And mind you, I'm not even talking about all the problems --some, that still exist, that has plagued this new bridge from beginning to end.
Excuse me but as I have maintained all along, I'm not a believer in press affiliates acting as a virtual conduit to the presenter, in this case, Caltrans. The overwhelming and insufferable hype over this Bay Bridge affair has been nauseating, frankly. Sorry, but I'm very much old-school. I like more objectivity and actuality as opposed to the giddy press-release packages I've seen and heard for the better part of two weeks.
What happened to the skeptical press here? We must have a short memory. Were we not inundated, (thank god), by mounds of information a mere two and a half months ago that maybe, just maybe, this bridge had massive problems and issues and the idea of IT opening as scheduled, on Labor Day, would be out of the question? Damn right I'm skeptical, but hold on.
I actually like the look of the new bridge--it's spectacular, in fact. A native Oaklander, I'm delighted of the allure of the single tower; its sheer luster, its signature logo, its architectural splendor. I just wish some of our local fifth estate would be more immersed in checking out facts and looking at the data, investigating and reading the blueprints, (like the Sac Bee correspondents did), as opposed to acting like a bunch of third-graders on their way to summer camp.
Throughout the past week Bay Area citizens have been deluged with endless "updates" and non-news, frankly. Granted, a major traffic artery has finally been created--for better or worse, I get it. I get the idea of reasonable news reports and traffic updates as we neared the opening of this mega-infrastructure event, and it is/was an event. But the Supersize spread we were all fed was much-to-much needless content--it's as if our local TV/Radio comrades felt as if too much was a lot better than not too much. It should, by extension, tell you all what they think of you but that's another story.
In the end, I saw a lot of reporters hamming it up with various politicians and hard-hat guys--Caltrans reps, MTC suits. That's not good. I saw, of all people, our beloved LG, Gavin Newsom; one of the SF pols who wanted the new bridge to resemble an innocuous viaduct look, cutting some stupid chain that opened the bridge. How ironic. Did any of the glee-club press ask him about that? Not a one. They were probably busy doing a live shot near the new asphalt Caltrans stuffed down our throat, courtesy of the 415-408 enablers.
This is not the end of it. There will now be endless actualities from commuters on the appearance of the new eastern span. And that's fine--for a day. If we continue past Wednesday, SF-Oakland-San Jose, Walnut Creek, we have a problem. I wouldn't be shocked though--after all, that would require heavy lifting into the reporting of real news we probably don't care much about which is kind of disturbing.
Meanwhile, we go back to Breaking News near the tunnel where our Betsey Snuckledork has a live interview with Caltrans spokesman, Baldie McFuckface....
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