Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just One Station...

Lately over on good ol' Universal Hub, there's been a lot of discussion about the demerits of Channel 7. And while I very much enjoy my vitriol towards some of their newscasters ("Shut up, Lorch!") and love of others ("Hiiiiii, Peeeeete!"), I watch Channel 7 fairly frequently. After all the hate for Channel 7 lately, I started to think about why I watch Channel 7 at all.

The obvious answer is that Pete Bouchard is on Channel 7 and he's just swell. I also get my information on the weather from television. I occasionally scan the Globe's weather page, but I find it easier to get information for a local TV channel with the radar. TV weather is also more up-to-date. Perhaps not any more correct, but I feel like I know more after watching TV weather. ("The white blobs are almost out of here, which means it's almost done snowing. I'd better get on my snowpants and go sledding now.") And, like all native New Englanders, I love weather cut-ins during a big snowstorm. I know it's snowing, but I like thinking about how much snow we'll get, how close the weather forecasters were, and when it's going to end. I love the sense of safe panic. (Where is the fecking snow?! Colorado can suck it.)

I think it all boils down to the fact that I don't watch the news for news. Local news is only a half-hour long (the four hours of news Channel 7 airs every afternoon is basically the same newscast over and over) and there is no possible way to know everything that's going on locally in that short time. What all local newscasts are is entertainment. Occasionally, some really amazing investigative reporting happens, such as at Channel 10 in Rhode Island, and affects some change. Generally, however, local news is for entertainment only. Car crashes, train wrecks, evacuated airport terminals, the figure of Mary/Jesus/Satan in food, political speeches, Hollywood dalliances, movie reviews, basic outlining of consumer rights by consumer reporters, weather, sports highlights, thanks for watching, goodnight. When I want news, I read a newspaper or internet news sources. When I want to be entertained, I watch Channel 7. And, despite all the haters, Channel 7 does an amazing job at entertaining viewers. Flashy graphics, attractive anchorpeople, dramatic writing, the deep-voiced announcer guy-- it sates our base desire for salacious "news." If I had my druthers, I'd get my news from Channel 10 in Rhode Island, but Channel 7 is my Boston favorite.

The haters can hate. It's not perfect, but I love Channel 7.

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Old school.

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