Did you ever wonder if interesting and newsworthy events around the world are winding down? I mean, let’s face it. The world is pretty boring. Not much is happening anymore.
Of course, that’s a bald faced lie. There is no dearth of newsworthy events. Not with more wars than ever before, breakthroughs in science at a blinding pace, global warming, a murderous shooting spree every other week, and political brinksmanship in Asia, the mid-east and even in our own Congress. Even the market battle between iPhone and Android is news.
So what passes for news today? How about this: Business mogul, Donald Trump is suing comedian and talk show host Bill Maher, because — according to Mr. Trump — he is not the product of his mother having sex with an orangutan, and he can prove it.
Just how newsworthy is proving that your father is not an orangutan? According to the Washington Times, it is the Fight of the Century. That’s pretty important, right? After all, the century is only 12% complete. It must be more important than a nation’s ballooning debt, a near earth collision with an asteroid, or a crazed ex-cop who has published a hit list and killed 4 people before he was burned in a cabin east of Los Angeles
Of course, we understand that Mr. Trump is incensed by Bill Maher’s joke on late night TV. Perhaps his frustration and anger constitutes a brief statement on the news (just a parenthetical one at that). But wait…The Don is really, really, Really incensed. After all, Maher has slandered his parents! Well, not really. Bill Maher is a comedian. Even a child recognizes the difference between character defamation and parody (very good parody, in my opinion). So, if Donald Trump truly believes that the courts are the proper place to assuage his frustration, then – at best – he has a weak case for slander. Not quite the five million to which he claims a contractual entitlement.
Why don’t we just set the record straight on Donald Trump once and for all. Donald Trump is a Buffoon with a capital “B”. By comparison, he makes Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashians look like Ivy League scholars.
WildDucks may never know how or why Donald Trump is seen as a noteworthy scion of business. It can’t just be his wealth or eccentricities. There are many wealthy and weird business owners who covet publicity. Yet they fly under the radar. Perhaps Trump attracts media coverage, because networks see him as a source of entertainment. But even this theory falls short. As a consumer of news and entertainment, I can categorically state that his TV shows and news clips leave viewers ill at ease and not very pleased with the network. And if the entertainment angle is viable, why fill the world news segment?
Trump has no common sense, a gruff and insulting attitude, is self-centered and has garish grooming (e.g. that ridiculous hair piece!). To the Don, I say: “You’re Fired!”
But wait. The trump-orangutan is so “last week”! What’s on the telly this week? Oh, my! Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, reached for a sip of water while delivering a Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address. I find it terribly depressing that this is considered news. He seemed a bit awkward as he ducked below the camera during a close up. Newsworthy? No. Briefly awkward? Sure. Funny? Only to a 2 year old who might also laugh at potty humor.
I can understand that this minor event rippled through Twitter. These are just regular Joe’s sharing an unusual moment with their friends and followers—Perfectly normal.
But, I am really disappointed with CNN for replaying that moment—and making it into a news segment. (I give the anchor a bit of credit. Assuming that he was not responsible for choosing the story, at least he cut off the follow-up discussion and suggested that it is not newsworthy). Just how does grabbing a sip of water during a speech spark a national scandal? The only slightly unusual thing is that the water was out of reach and required that Rubio almost stoop below the camera during a close up. O.K. We saw the result of poor planning. A dry throat should have been anticipated by Mr. Rubio and certainly by the television producer or set coordinator. In my opinion, it not only lacks merit as a news event, it is not funny or entertaining either. I think less of the media for abandoning real news in favor of this quip. My problem is not that it is “fluff”—That would be O.K. But it is invasive and unfriendly fluff without any point at all.
To be completely fair, I rather liked David Letterman’s send up of the event.* But that doesn’t mean that the original event was news or even funny. It means that David Letterman and his writers have the talent to turn it into something funny.
Returning to the title question: “What do Donald Trump & Marco Rubio have in common?” They are both the absurd subjects of low-brow humor posing as news–or at least as legitimate filler for news broadcasts. They are neither of these things. Although they are newsworthy in other ways (Well, at least Rubio is newsworthy), they are just ordinary people going about their business.
* The David Letterman clip has been removed, perhaps due to action by the studio. That’s a pity. It was Letterman at his very best. This parody of the the water-drinking Florida senator by actor Andy Pita is pretty darn funny too. I bet that you cannot stifle a chuckle (or a hearty guffaw) at timestamp 1:57.