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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 17, 2008 / 12 Nissan 5768

News you can (re)use

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With so much going on in the world these days, whether locally, nationally or internationally, it's remarkable that the nightly news shows manage to cover it all in just an hour and still squeeze in sports, weather and the latest Britney Spears updates.


I've often wondered how, with all these events to cover, the news programs can afford to dedicate any air time to those perennially occurring stories that, in their sameness, never seem to offer anything of actual news value. You know the stories I'm talking about - footage of the Pennsylvania groundhog either seeing or not seeing his shadow, interviews with people waiting to buy lottery tickets for a $100 million jackpot, footage of slow-moving shoppers being crushed underfoot by the stampeding bargain hunters on the day after Thanksgiving, etc. The list goes on and so, inexplicably, does the coverage.


I remember thinking about how little these stories change last year as I watched a TV reporter interviewing the incoherent, toothless 113-year-old woman who had just become the oldest living person. Rather than bothering to go out and get this footage, I wondered, wouldn't it be easier and less expensive to simply re-air an interview with the previous oldest person or, if that wasn't available, an interview with Keith Richards? Who would know the difference?


That's when I realized I might be on to something. Maybe the network news programs keep showing us stories that recur so frequently precisely because they can run old footage without anyone at home catching on. Take, for example, the occasional story about a bunch of bodies turning up in some otherwise nondescript homeowner's backyard. Is it really necessary for a camera crew to go out to the house in question just to record a neighbor predictably saying that the guy was "a quiet type" who "kept mostly to himself" except for when he was "cranking up the stereo to play what he called 'good body-burying music?'"


Next week I'll be able to test my theory when news reporters predictably tromp out to area post offices to interview the hordes of procrastinators who've waited until the last minute to file their income tax returns. I know I'll be watching closely for telltale signs of recycled footage, such as people in line using older cell phone models, wearing "Frankie Say Relax" t-shirts or telling interviewers they're concerned about the government handling the millions of returns, "what with this whole Y2K crisis and all."


In fact, the practice of repurposing old stories is a long and celebrated news tradition. To cite just one example, legend has it that famed newspaper man William Randolph Heart, upon hearing of the Hindenburg disaster, stopped his top editor from sending a reporter out to the crash scene. "Here, just run this," Hearst allegedly said, handing the editor an old story about the sinking of the Titanic. "Just change 'ship' to 'blimp,' 'Titanic' to 'Hindenberg,' 'iceberg' to 'fireball' and 'North Atlantic Ocean' to 'Lakehurst, New Jersey.'"


Today, with news budgets tighter than ever, the practice of recycling footage will likely increase. Suspicion has already arisen that producers are using new Photoshop technology to take existing video of, say, Paris Hilton being released from prison and replacing the hotel heiress' image with footage of Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, Kiefer Sutherland or the latest former child star to finish serving time. This also may explain why the wives of disgraced politicians always appear at their husbands' sides during the ensuing press conferences; since Hillary was in the original source video, dutifully standing beside Bill, news organizations are now forced to drop in images of the current wife, most likely taken from stock footage from a state funeral or some other somber event. It's the only logical explanation.


Why, even President Bush has been getting into the act. While many commentators have criticized the president for his seemingly "detached" approach to governing, the fact is that Bush retired to his Crawford ranch sometime in 2005 and now only returns to the White House for photo opportunities with important visiting guests, such as the French president, the Queen of England or a recently-crowned bass fishing champion. That's why, when the news organizations need to show the president reacting to, say, the latest bad news in Iraq, they just trot out old footage of Bush talking about how "the surge is working," "we're turning the corner" and "the Democrats all hate the troops."


The only problem with all this footage recycling is if the public begins to lose faith in the integrity of the news media. But as usual, the networks are way ahead of us, and already have plenty of stored video of people on the street talking about how much they still trust the network news. I just hope someone had the good sense to screen out anyone wearing a "Frankie Says" t-shirt.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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