22 August 2005

Like, Ohmigod, Gaza Settlements and, um . . .

On the ol' DirecTV dish, I used to get a channel called News World International (NWI). Its schedule featured news programs from around the world; England, Germany, Canada, Japan, etc. I took to it on September 11th, 2001, as I found the CBC's coverage to be much more reasoned and far less hyped than the drool of CNN and their clones.

I liked watching NWI because I'm interested in the daily lives of other people. That's one of the best things about traveling; getting a sense of what it's like to live here, no matter where that 'here' is. On NWI, I could see stories about commuting in Osaka, school reform in Heidelberg, the dairy business in Cardiff and so on. I don't need some pre-packaged happy-talk government-funded diversity spin to make me appreciate life in the rest of the world. I get it from my own sources.

Well, in the past few months, the channel was purchased by a group of fools led by Albert Gore, Jr., and was renamed Current TV.
Current is about what's going on. We follow the global pulse via Google Current, a real-time view of what the world's searching for, presented every half-hour around the clock. We slice the rest of the schedule into short pods -- each just a few minutes long -- that range far and wide, from international dispatches to profiles of cool people to intelligence on new trends. This is not a traditional TV network; watching Current, you'll see more, on more topics, from more points of view.
How can I describe what CurrentTV is? Try to imagine very early MTV, devoid of structure, along with a very weak news effort, mixed in with all the clumsiness or trying to create a video version of internet interactivity, and finished with incessant on-air self-congratulation for creating this lack of programming. To call it shallow and vapid doesn't begin to do it the injustice it deserves. Thanks, Al; another middle-aged guy telling youth what's good, hip and important. Believe me, this isn't a 24-7 commercial for the Democratic National Committee; this outlet is so lame, it transcends party politics.

Please enjoy this hard-hitting clip from Current TV. It'll take a second or two to load up. It is proof that there is no sense of shame anymore.

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