Armchair cop, armchair reporter

I was an invisible as a man who lived in a house with three other guys could be. Boxer shorts, stinky t-shirt, unshaven, surrounded by empty food containers and a funk that could only be described as…curious.

I was several months deep into an O.J. Simpson vigil. I knew all the characters. Rosa Lopez, the house maid, was my favorite. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a Rosa Lopez action figure to play with during commercials. I was hooked on the junk. I was addicted to all things O.J.

It is an embarassing admission now…that I wasted several months of my life on perhaps one of the most useless human beings ever to ride in a Ford Bronco.

I rose above it. When the acquittal came, I threw a plastic shark across the room, drank a skunky Rolling Rock and sped away to my Criminology class. I seethed for a while and eventually decided it all wasn’t worth my time.

I stopped watching most nationl news for a while. I deviated from my semi-boycott a bit during the 2000 election, but have held steadfast in my disdain for all things sensational.

But, all junkies find a way back down that dark road. My road is paved by a coward with a long gun and .223 bullets.

I have set the Turbo function of my remote control to all the national news networks. I am categorizing the coverage into several categories: bad, a little better than bad, and maybe could be called decent journalism.

I hope to find my way out of this hole soon. This may just be a brief relapse. Nevertheless, humor me on these observations:

Phil Donahue should not be anchoring anything but a boat. He took irresponisble journalism to a whole new level last night as he and MSNBC blew up a non-story of an ex-Marine detained in Baltimore on suspicion of being the Sniper. At the same moment Donahue was shifting in his seat and yelling at confusing moments…the Sniper was killing a 47 year old woman in a Home Depot parking garage.

WRC television (the local Washington D.C. NBC affiliate) does a decent job with breaking news and is the only saving grace of MSNBC. Once Joe Johns (a good Capitol Hill reporter, but not the best with crime stuff) made his way through traffic and put the network on the scene, MSNBC broke away from WRC coverage (co-starring a former collegue of mine in Chopper 4), it lost all punch and moved into the world of specualtion.

FOX news (never my favorite) has the best netowrk ground reporter on the scene. Bill (maybe Bob) Alexander refuses to be pushed into sensational speculation by his cross-eyed colleagues.

Okay, enough.

Anyone know how to thread coax cable into an artery?

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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