If Itís Delayed It Isn't News
Yesterday a man jumped from the edge of space. He went up in a little capsule attached to a helium balloon and when he reached 127,000 feet above the earth that door opened and dude bailed out. He had nothing but a suit and a parachute and, during his descent he reached speeds of more than 700MPH. And then?He landed on his frakking feet.
The manís name is Felix Baumgartner and you can follow the journey he (and his Red Bull sponsors) took to make this jump happen over on the Red Bull YouTube channel.
ItísÖwhat do base jumpers say? Pretty dope, yo. (What? Iím not a base jumper; I just watch them on TV).
And, unless you were watching the jump online, you didnít get to see it happen in real time.
I was watching on CNN. I watched as the balloonís elevation rose and dropped and rose again. I watched the door open. I watched Felix step out on to the little bar of a step. I watched as he leaned forward. I watched as he was given the go to jump. I heard him say ďIím going home.Ē
And then I watched as some talking heads watched him take the initial leap, their jaws dropped in awe.
When he was about to land (on his feet, the badass) the cameras went back to the live shot.
A few minutes later CNN showed the actual jump.
Double You Tee Eff.
I realize this is on the heels of Fox Newsí Gaffe a couple of weeks ago (their five second delay failed at the worst time ever, but it still makes me mad.
Why canít our news be as real as what we see in the serialized fiction we gobble up on network television each night?
Letís take it one step further. Is it really news if itís watered down and only fed to us in the snippets some corporate drones deem safe enough for us to see?
Iím going to say no.
News shouldnít have a parental filter. Itís the damn news. Report it.
Obviously part of the reason for this is that the FCC has crazy strict rules in place about what is and what is not appropriate for air. Certain words cannot be said. Certain images ought not to be broadcast or the networks airing them will be facing steep fines. It isnít entirely the networkís fault.
There is a rampant distrust of the media in this country and itís this type of thing that makes me wonder if they donít deserve it. I want to know whatís going on in the world. Then I want smart people who know more than I do about it to explain it so that I have a better chance of understanding it. This is not the same thing as wanting those people to watch it for me and then decide whether or not I can handle it.