Apparently, tomorrow, some sort of sporting event takes place in downtown Detroit and hosting it is akin to the nearby metropolis being named the Most Important City of All Time, Ever. This Super Bowl, or whatever you call it, is all you hear about these days. I've lived in - and visited - a fair number of US cities in my time and I have to say that, without exception, Detroit local news is the worst I've ever seen anywhere. Channel 4 is like a trainwreck - I don't want to watch, but I can't quite look away. I've never seen a station so relentlessly and unabashedly inject itself into the news as this one does.
At Christmas, I watched the evening broadcast with my jaw dragging on the floor as it continuously one-upped the previous night's fare in terms of self-promotion. There was the story where Channel 4 not only interviewed a homeless man, but found him a job! I mean, why report the news, when you can just create it AND promote yourselves at the same time?
Not long after, I saw a broadcast where they were "covering" the Christmas shopping season from certain stores and shopping malls where there were special sale offers available FROM Channel 4. What the...? How is this not a conflict of interest? A typical Channel Four newscast goes something like this. "Look at us, we're so great." "Oh, anchor man, you're so funny! Probably because we're so great!" "I think you're great too, sassy co-anchor lady!" Sometimes in there, there's a little news.
Channel 4's not the only one. We got so sick of its Super Bowl obsession that we tried Channel 7 last night. The ENTIRE 11 o'clock news broadcast on Channel 7 was about the Super Bowl in Detroit. There was not a single story about, oh, I don't know - maybe the ferry sinking in Egypt or the stampede that killed 70-plus in Manila?
I suppose an argument could be made, as local stations usually claim, that those are not local interest stories. Fine. Then why don't you give me some news about how the Super Bowl is affecting businesses in Detroit or employing people or actually doing something? Instead, the broadcast covered all the parties, with hapless reporters employing regrettable grammar to fawn over minor celebrities.
The number of times the phrase "Diddy's in the city" was uttered should be nothing short of criminal. Pardon my own regrettable grammar but, really, who gives a shit?
Not. One. Piece. Of. Actual. News. We saw the "world famous" Hawaiian Tropic dancers get made up. We listened to Miss April (although they didn't say whose Miss April she was) talk about the hot "girl on girl" dance action at the clubs you and I couldn't get into anyway. And a Kid Rock fan foaming at the mouth about how Kid Rock totally represents Motown. In fact, she noted, "He's the epiphany of Detroit." Uh huh.
One "reporter" had his nose so far up Jim McMann's ass that it's a wonder he could still get the microphone close enough to get a sound bite. And afterwards, he ended his interview - so star struck he could barely stand still - by saying, "God bless" to the chaw-jawed former player. There's no blessing in news, people!
So while the rest of the people in a 100-mile radius around Detroit hail what a great boon it is for the city to host the Super Bowl, I, for one, will hide out in Ann Arbor and count the minutes until it's all over. And maybe then I'll get some news for a change. Although I won't exactly count on it.
Although I do