Thursday July 09, 2020
'A Certain Kind of Soft Drink'
In a season 5 episode of “The Simpsons,” “Bart Gets Famous,” there's a great throwaway bit about the awfulness of local television and local news that I‘ve quoted over the years.
Bart gets a job on Krusty the Klown’s show—this is before he becomes famous as the “I didn't do it” boy—and he wants to show his friends his name in the credits. But even as the credits zip by, the screen tilts, and half the screen is filled with the local anchor Kent Brockman, who pimps the news:
On the 11:00 news tonight, a certain kind of soft drink has been found to be lethal. We won't tell you which one until after sports and the weather with Funny Sonny Storm.
This morning I was listening to the radio (NPR/KUOW) and it was near the top of the hour—NPR's “Morning Edition” time—and local anchor Angela King said this, basically (apologies: no direct quote yet):
A Covid outbreak has shut down a favorite Seattle restaurant. We‘ll tell you what to do if you’ve eaten there ... in 4 minutes.
It turned out to be Duke's Seafood at Alki Beach, but good god, KUOW, can't you do better than this? You‘re playing directly into a 25-year-old satire of how bad local news can be. But it worked, didn’t it? I stuck around. I had been ready to turn it off and continue my morning but yesterday my wife and I ordered takeout from our favorite local restaurant, Ba-Bar, so I had to wait to find out.
Anyway, thanks for the news. Four minutes later.