Creative Destruction

April 19, 2007

The Tragedy Network

Filed under: Current Events,Ethics — Brutus @ 11:10 am

I’m thinking of starting a new television channel, maybe on cable, called The Tragedy Network. Because this world is a virtually unlimited vale of tears, reporters will fan out across the globe and bring humanity’s worst atrocities into everyone’s living rooms. And because the boob tube is so ubiquitous, we’ll have access in cars, bars, airports, offices, pretty much everywhere. I’m confident there are enough grieving survivors that The Tragedy Network can always locate someone and shove a camera in his or her face to ask “How do you feel right now?” The byline can be “All Tragedy, All the Time.” Luckily, because the pitch of the channel will be hysterical at all times, there is no possibility of being preempted by a bigger tragedy. Breaking news stories can just be laid on top of old ones. The focus on human tragedy will relieve reporters of any need to make ethical reports or avoid rushes to judgment. By recycling and repackaging the same conjecture and lack of hard information every half hour, the audience will be riveted, practically slavering for any shred of real information that comes out in the aftermath of events. And by not holding back prurient details found amongst the media packages prepared by perpetrators of atrocity, The Tragedy Network can pretty much assure a succession of criminally insane narcissists pinning their hopes (justifiably) on immortality in the public mind once they commit their crimes and are shuffled off this mortal coil.

Think anyone will watch?



  1. They already have this. It’s called “Greta van Susteren”. Plus, the channel has the side benefit of, while you watch it, you can try to guess what plastic surgery Greta has had this week in her ongoing quest to not be a grimly ratchet-jawed New England farm wife of the 1850s.

    Edited to cancel the unnecessary anti-Greta snark.

    Comment by Robert — April 19, 2007 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  2. We have it already, it is called cable TV news.

    Comment by ohwilleke — April 19, 2007 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  3. I thought that I was being rather obvious: describing the behavior of our current media outlets. I guess I was too subtle. I wonder why folks mistake Robert’s rants as trolling or devil’s advocacy whereas mine, when I think I’m clearly being arch, are taken (erroneously) at face value ….

    Comment by Brutus — April 19, 2007 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  4. You’re so earnest, hangdog and doom-and-gloom that it doesn’t come across when you’re being funny. Probably in person this doesn’t happen, since the person you’re with can see the sly grin or the eye twinkle or what have you.

    Comment by Robert — April 20, 2007 @ 1:04 am | Reply

  5. Fair enough.

    Comment by Brutus — April 20, 2007 @ 1:08 am | Reply

  6. If it makes you feel any better, it was clear to me that you were describing the behavior of the mainstream news media. In fact, my first thought was that you were being too obvious in your description.´Apparently your audience has a large range of irony meter settings.

    Comment by Dianne — April 20, 2007 @ 4:08 am | Reply

  7. Irony range?

    Dianne, you should see the give-a-shit-ometers at this place. It goes from -412 to +212.

    Comment by Off Colfax — April 20, 2007 @ 6:25 am | Reply

  8. Dianne, you should see the give-a-shit-ometers at this place. It goes from -412 to +212.

    The scale does, but I’ve never seen the needle pass -406.

    Comment by Daran — April 20, 2007 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  9. Why blame the media? The news outlets show what is watched, if CNN pays $100,000 for a report from a field agent in Africa and no one watches it but if they send a nice blond with a microphone in front of that school everyone watches for a cost of $5,000 why should they pay for real news?

    Comment by Vilon — April 20, 2007 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  10. “Probably in person this doesn’t happen, since the person you’re with can see the sly grin or the eye twinkle or what have you.”
    Comment by Robert — April 20, 2007 @ 1:04 am

    No,that’s pretty much how it happens in person as well!

    Comment by Ricky Roma — April 24, 2007 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

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