Thursday, May 3, 2012

GMA fluff a sign of the times

Title card used from October 22, 2007 to May 2...
Title card used from October 22, 2007 to May 2, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What is with Good Morning America?

This morning I stumbled into the kitchen, following the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting down the hall. Why is it that one certain spot--just a small area--in the hallway receives the strongest kitchen smells? The same is true when there is a fire in the wood stove; that same spot is where the burning wood smell is the strongest as well.

Once I poured my coffee, even before I took the first sip, I joined my hubby in the living room where he was watching Good Morning America. Almost as soon as I sat down, the first thing I heard was Dan Abrams being introduced. He was there, as he seems to be every day, commenting on the legalities behind some sensationalized story dealing with somebody's personal tragedy. I don't even know what it was about because I picked up my coffee and made my exit. I'd much rather sit on the porch and watch the birds or read real news on my computer.

Now I don't have anything against Dan Abrams--he is probably a wonderful person--who is very knowledgeable about legal issues. He is rather easy to look at early in the day too, but I just don't happen to care to listen to speculation over the minute details of some courtroom drama at 8 o'clock in the morning. Perhaps I could justify it if the outcome mattered to the country, or if it affected society at large, or would set a precedent for future legal battles, but those usually aren't what drives the coverage. Instead, it is generally some highly sensationalized case that should matter only to the parties involved in it. At least this morning he wasn't fighting with Nancy Grace. That is really over the top. If I wanted to hear bickering, I'd start a fight with my husband.

And why does a legal consultant need to appear every single day; sometimes more than once. Do other people like this stuff? Or is it just me?

If GMA isn't just emulating Court TV it is doing a take-off on Entertainment Tonight. If the dialogue was printed, it would probably read like The Enquirer. Enough of the mundane already!

I was upset about the way this show was going back when Charles Gibson and then Diane Sawyer left. That was when Robin Roberts, who had been an excellent sidekick, was given the co-anchor spot with George Stephanopoulos. I've been a big fan of Stephanopoulos for a long time. I thought he would be able to maintain the show's credibility. And as much as he could, he has tried to do that. He cannot carry it all by himself though, especially when clearly news isn't what the show's producers are after. Roberts may have been a good sports interviewer, but she is no Diane Sawyer or Charlie Gibson. She is a nice woman, but just can't perform as a credible journalist. The world fluff comes to mind when I think about the substance of this show.

I may be spoiled because I remember Good Morning America in its heyday, when it was anchored by David Hartman and Joan Lunden. There was quality reporting by professional journalists, but then that was a different time and place. Perhaps that is the problem. Where are the journalists. I find myself wondering that more and more these days.

I'm just not interested in more fluff and dribble on TV. The airwaves are filled with it. Perhaps the problem is that six media giants now control much of what is on television--GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS--dominate up to 90-percent of the media, according to Upworthy.com. In 1983, there were as many as 50 companies that controlled the airwaves.

According to a graphic on the site, "232 media executives control the information diet of 277 million Americans." That is one media executive to 850,000 subscribers. In 2010, the revenue for the six companies was $275.9 billion.

Therein lies the problem. I'm just glad I have a computer.

Tell me what you think about this. Are you happy with the way things are going?