Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For those who haven't heard, there was a 5.6 earthquake in Northern California last night.

Apparently, it was centered in Alum Rock, near San Jose, and didn't do any devastating damage. It caused things to tumble off shelves and pictures to fall off walls.

What captured my attention this morning is the news coverage.

At this moment, I have a local news station on. My intent in watching this station (one I rarely watch because I find their saccharine silliness and pervasive perkiness nearly unbearable) was to find out how widespread the impact would have been. I often don't feel earthquakes unless they are huge. It's just a result of my balance issues. Things are frequently a bit rocky for me.


The chipmunks at KCRA informed us that there was no significant damage in terms of property and that no one was injured.

Having set the stage and fulfilling all obligations to surface decency, then it was time for entertainment.

Nope. I'm not joking.

They are running a poll on their website. "Did you feel it?" The lead talking head asked it with a gleam in her eye and a smile that would have lit up a room. The little bounce in her step in Miss Nancy Romper Room style, let us all know that it was time for fun.

This was followed by Halloween stories.

It's times like this when I really miss Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. Tom Brokaw. Peter Jennings. Walter Cronkite.

I miss hearing news with at least some modicum of dignity.

Meanwhile, I hope all in the affected areas are doing well. No joke.


Anonymous said...

My Mom was watching Lou Dobbs last night, and he was ranting and raging and calling people names; literally red in the face. I don't have any idea what he was talking about, or whether he was right or wrong, but I found his demeanor very disturbing.

It made me nostalgic for the old days, when there was at least a little dignity associated with the job.

slouching mom said...

Oh, I also miss Cronkite, and Brinkley. And I so love Ted Koppel and wish he would anchor. But I don't think he ever will.

Janet said...

I have mostly switched to talk radio for news now. I can't stand to watch it on TV.

Tabba said...

watching news on TV is just unbearable. unbearable.

glad to hear i'm not the only one who thinks so.

and yes, i hope and pray that no one has been seriously hurt/injured and that everyone is safe.
CA just can't catch a break.

Christine said...

i don't joke about earthquakes ever. the loma prieta one scared me to my core and it was the first time in my life i thought i was going to die.

my sister felt the quake yesterday and was pretty scared, but she is ok.

i am glad you are ok.

this quake was centered right in my old neighborhood.

PeterAtLarge said...

Funny, how they manage to stretch things out beyond trivilaity to virtual idiocy. With all sympathy in the world for those at the receiving end of the shock, I just can't summon enthusiasm for endless reports about jars falling off shelves. A good reminder, though, for those of us in earthquake country to check up on our emergency kits.

jen said...

i can attest it was quite a jolt. and i refused to even watch the news about it for the reasons you just described.

flutter said...

Oh I hope so too, although I had to laugh at "the chipmunks"

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I cannot abide terminal perkiness either.

We felt it strongly, as if the epicenter were right beneath us. Our small building shook violently for nearly a minute. It was quite exciting, and fortunately, nobody was hurt.

The SF newscasters showed interminable footage of the same grocery and liquor store shelves with broken bottles under them. I guess they have to make do when there are no major wildfires or hurricanes.

They are predicting another one of the same size or larger within a week. I guess I'll have to sleep in pajamas for awhile and keep shoes and a cat carrier handy.

Carla said...

I can't believe newscasters would take such a serious event so lightly. It would certainly make me more than nervous had I been there.

Molly said...

I hear you! News and the misfortunes of others as entertainment......I find the BBC news decent. They report what's happened and stick to the facts.
My daughter lives in N.California ,further north than San Jose and she mentioned nothing.....