The following night on the CBS Evening News they presented first, a very short piece about a girl who was carried away by a Tsunami ten years ago but recently reunited with her family – sweet, but not really world news. The next was about a toddler who squeezed through the fence at the White House causing minor problems for the Secret Service – cute, but not really news. (This same story was covered in my local newspaper in a short item under the heading of “Odd-ball” news, almost word-for-word, including the little joke about giving him a time-out instead of arresting him.) They wrapped up with a piece about a happiness formula taken from a psychological study. The story implied that our satisfaction with results is highly dependent upon our prior expectations, but it was covered so cursorily that it left me wondering why they even bothered.
It has been some time since we last watched ABC news, referring to it as the puppy-dog and kitty-cat news, where you can always depend on a cute story captured off YouTube or Facebook of animals or cute kids based on its tens of thousands of hits on the Internet. (CBS seems to acknowledge this trend when they boast of “more real news,” but immediately undermine their credibility with video of a baby seal climbing onto a surfboard.)