Zodi’s Blog

Breaking News

Cycle of a News Story


 Back in the early days, if a caveman saw a saber tooth tiger (or Adam saw an untamed dino) he would run back to his cave (or his garden) and gesture effusively while grunting (or have a polite conversation with Eve and the snake). Then everyone would know to avoid the danger and be effectivley caught up with the current events of the day. A little later as we became more civilized, news would spread through gossip and quiet innuendo until somebody was burned at the stake. The town crier would cry it, and that was the end of the story.     

Who to hate!



It wasn’t so long ago that newspapers and serious anchormen took over, and the news game really started to change. People came to trust and depend on these people and publications. How else would they know who to hate, who to fear and who to love? Back then nothing happened unless The Times or Walter Cronkite damn well told you it happened.     

Needless to say things have changed exponentially since then. Now you have a million different sources telling you a million different things. But no matter who is telling you what, the whole mechanism for a news story is universal. This is not just about Tiger or Lindsay or even Nancy  Kagan, the cycle stays the same for almost everything.     

-First an event/death/murder/19th baby/affair/war/crime….may or may not occur.     

-Someone will inadvertently snap a few incriminating cell phone pics/drunk twitter/talk/or angry Facebook status update.     

-The National Enquirer will get wind of the story, put their head down and barrel towards the endzone.     

-The common folk will now begin murmuring. As they do.     

-TMZ will smell blood in the water and send in the sharks.     

-Someone will at this point, without fail…     

A) Wreck a SUV into a tree while being chased by a 9-iron wielding, infuriated Swede.     

B) Get Arrested     

C) Come out     

D) Commence a low speed chase through LA.     

E) Enter the hospital (exhaustion)     

F) Enter a rehab (exhaustion related crack use)     

G) Overdose     

H) Die of unknown causes.     

I) Issue an ambiguous statement     

This is the point in the story’s life that the proverbial shit hits the phucking fan. There is now nonstop 24/7 coverage. If an anchor must read that The Enquirer broke the story first, it must be said with a smirk and with the taste of bile prominently fixated in their throat. Every network now must quickly decide if the person in question is a ‘friend’ of the network or a ‘friend’ of the network’s political slant. Now all the networks start calling the person in question’s publicist, promising ‘soft’ coverage if they can get the scoop. You know, the ‘real’ scoop, not that white-trash fodder that the Enquirer printed.     

Now it’s time for the ‘personalities’ to weigh in. O’Reilly and his cronies will either call out the person in question as a secular progressive, a scumbag or a hypocrite, or they will chastise the public and media for not showing respect and privacy. Olberman and his legion will state the polar opposite of the enemy’s opinion, and do it convincingly. You see, they happen to know that if they were ever to agree on anything, even accidentally, the universe would implode upon itself. Then no matter what the story and no matter what the circumstances…….     


-Anderson Cooper will revolve. The entire way around.     

-Glenn Beck will cry for America’s lost greatness.                              

-Sanja Gupta will way in on any and all medical implications.,      

-Nancy Grace will get mad and demand justice.     

-Steve Ducey will be confused but manage to chuckle speculatively.     

Networks will now call in every expert (read.. right priced idiot with a book deal) to argue every point of contention, making sure to never, ever allow such trivial minutia as ‘the facts’ to get in the way of a good thing. Like maybe another book deal. At this point every new development in the case/story/birth/death/scandal will be announced with a bright red (read scarlet letter) banner announcing the brain weight/birth weight/lethal concoction/type-o-condom/type-o-club used.     

The story will continue to ebb and flow like a radioactive tide on Lake Karachey until two tasks are successfully completed by the presumed perpetrator.     

The first is to manage to hit a single with the softball that’s thrown to them on Larry King. And just because he has the marbleized, ice cold flesh of the ancient vampire that he is, does not mean that he’s not a nice man. He will do everything in his supernatural power to make sure that the ‘guest’ is comfortable and appropriately pitied. A warning must be issued at this point however; do NOT fuck this up. If you rip your mike off and walk off in haste, the story, much like King himself will never, ever, ever die. –See Prejean.        

A mistake to avoid     

 The second step is Oprah. As long as the celebrity/criminal/whatever…I’m tired of using slashes/, doesn’t do anything too crazy like punch the bitch in the face, or admit that she is the one, true antichrist…..then the story can finally be put to bed. Then finally, it’s all over and everyone can move on with the next distraction to keep them from focusing on their own lives.     


December 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. how utterly depressing. I shall continue in my endeavour to ignore all televised and printed “news” and just concentrate on the snippets I see over at frigginloon’s blog

    Comment by nursemyra | December 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks Nurse Myra 🙂 The spin starts here !!!

      Comment by frigginloon | December 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. Normally these media frenzies and silly celebrity stories bore me. But, the Tiger story fascinates and amuses me to no end.

    Paris Hilton effed up the Larry King interview too. Poor girl.

    As for the media, it’s just so much easier to cover Tiger Woods. Things like health care, terrorism and financial disasters are sooooo complicated. And, since the people working the “news” desks at the all the cable channels and networks have a combined I.Q. in the double digits, they can’t be bothered with that shit.

    Comment by Jay | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. Damn . . . that was a funny blueprint for the media my college class called “passive”: papers, television, and all things not up front and physically in front of us, although they are damn close to it, like poltegeists.

    Crazy, huh? I wanna see Tiger like Eastwood at the end of “Unforgiven”; “Hell yeah I screwed those women. Dogs, cats, women, children, appliances; I screwed all of ’em, and I’ll screw you too. I have close to a billion dollars with no morals and I know how to use it. I’ll see you all in hell.”

    He would still be worshiped like a God, by “the people who know”.

    Sorry, Scott. I need tequila, Red Bull, viagra, and a jet to Bangkok . . .

    Great post!!!

    Comment by Dan McGinley | December 12, 2009 | Reply

    • I hope you’re okay, Scott! You’ve been quiet, so I hope you’re either visiting the states for Christmas, or maybe having tech problems. I’ll keep watching for ya.

      Comment by Dan McGinley | December 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thought-provoking and witty, Scott…just the way I like my posts to be.

    But you forgot about the part where Nancy Grace cuts the family of the victims off mid-sentence in order to show off pictures of her twins getting their pictures taken on Santa’s lap.

    Unfortunately, living vicariously through the craziness of others is what makes the world go round these days. For some reason “common folk” always seem to feel better about their own transgressions when they see “The Great Ones” (so to speak) fall off their pedestals as well.

    And many times those “not quite celebrity-types” plan it that way, as negative publicity is better than no publicity at all.

    Brilliant writing as always, Scott. And just so you know, the phrase “Crotching Tiger/Hidden Driver” makes me want to be a wittier person.

    ps. I love phucking fans!

    Comment by bschooled | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  5. Thank God for all of these various media outlets (hello Access Hollywood, ET and TMZ) or I’d be one bored motha fucka.

    Comment by Candice | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  6. You are totally right and now I am fucking depressed cause of it…

    I remember when great accomplishments were lauded i.e. Landing on the moon….or saving 100 people in a fire

    Now if you bang some whore in a church parking lot..or have 19 kids you are a media treasure…..

    I say scuse me langauge

    FUCK Tiger…octomom….the duggar 19 or is it 100 maybe she is an alien roach…..fuck jon for not taking care of his 8 children…..fuck arod for asking for 100 mil its a baseball he is a douche,…..fuck oreilly…beck….hannity….bring back cronkite from the dead and lets restore some respect in the media…zman sends

    Comment by steve | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  7. Excellent post, Scott.

    My favorite is when they run out of things to say and start debating what other pundits,commentators and journalists are saying about the story. You can tell they are really starting to eat themselves when they get to the “Is the media complicit in this…?” stage.

    Great work,


    p.s. (I think Zman and I are slowly morphing into one person. Zdon sends…)

    Comment by Donald Mills | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  8. I’m laughing at ZDon sends.. Steve will be flattered.

    How can you be so well versed in the ongoing news while you’re in Spain? The internet is truly a wonderful thing.

    Comment by Claire Collins | December 13, 2009 | Reply

  9. Great take on how diffused the news is becoming. It’s really becoming a joke.
    If only we could get it all to un-evolve back into cavemen grunting with hand signs.

    Comment by Micky-T | December 13, 2009 | Reply

  10. And this would be why I no longer bother with the news. At least on the net, I can read stuff that interests me, or pertains to my corner of the world.

    Comment by Reb | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  11. Who the fuck are these people your talking about (haha). Honestly, other than Dexter and MadMen and the ocassional documentary on comets, I don’t watch TV. But its all true Scott and you tell it well. Peace.

    Comment by fundamentaljelly | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  12. Bah. Media. Who needs them?

    I can get all the news from a variety of blogs and aggragates without the smug condescension of the entrenched mainstream media, both left and right.

    And what the fucking fuck is with FOX News? They must believe in the legacy of the town crier. That’s the only thing that would explain why all their hosts spend so much time shouting. They all make as much sense as Brick from “Anchorman:”

    “LOUD NOISES!!!”

    Great post, Scott. Looks like it touched a nerve, perhaps inappropriately.

    Comment by Capitalist Lion Tamer | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  13. Nice piece. “Enter a rehab (exhaustion related crack use)” was a very nice touch.

    Comment by Ramblin' Rooster | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  14. Funny stuff and dead on, Scott. Steve Doocy is one of my favorite people to make fun of. Him and that whole FOX morning crew have a combined of IQ of 7. Cheers!!

    Comment by Matt-Man | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  15. Crouching Tiger/Hidden Driver !!!!
    it had me laughing so hard I had to read the whole post again because I didn’t know what the fuck was going on

    I could be an anchorwoman!

    Comment by dianne | December 14, 2009 | Reply

  16. Steve Friggin Doocy…now there is a weatherman that knows his shit!

    Comment by frigginloon | December 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Sorry I meant “is shit!”. And is it me or do you wait in anticipation for Glen Beck to say “I’m the only gay guy in the village”?

      Comment by frigginloon | December 16, 2009 | Reply

  17. The best and easiest way to avoid the media glares after a screw up. Convince/Pay an even bigger star to screw up too.

    Comment by bearmancartoons | December 17, 2009 | Reply

  18. I swear to God when I tell you that this USED to be my dream profession.


    Comment by Candy | December 18, 2009 | Reply

  19. thinking about you
    hope all is OK

    Comment by dianne | December 21, 2009 | Reply

  20. Merry Christmas Scott where ever you friggin are ?

    Comment by frigginloon | December 26, 2009 | Reply

  21. Happy holidays Scott! I’ll be watching for you. I hope you are all in a good way, and look forward to your next post. I’ve been busy reading about Serge in the Dorsey books, and wondering if I need to go there to employ “Serge tactics” to get you out . . . keep me posted!

    Comment by Dan McGinley | December 26, 2009 | Reply

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