Television news needs to get real#8217; By Cal Bryant 08/25/2008 Say it ain#8217;t so Brian Williams; say it ain#8217;t so. I#8217;m not a big fan of TV news (aka #8220;The Talking Heads#8221;), but w

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 25, 2008

Say it ain’t so Brian Williams; say it ain’t so.

I’m not a big fan of TV news (aka “The Talking Heads”), but when I do tune in I prefer the NBC version.

Last Thursday was one of those times where the electronic version of the news beckoned me to watch. I was interested in what was happening in Florida where Tropical Storm Fay was dumping upwards to 30 inches of rain on the Sunshine State.

What I really wanted to know was if the storm was going to affect Jacksonville. My late mom’s only sibling (Aunt Dare) lives in Orange Park, a southern suburb of Jacksonville, and I was concerned for her and her family.

Despite the fact that Fay was dumping wicked amounts of rain on Florida and despite the fact that thousands of people were forced to leave their homes due to the rising waters, that story played second fiddle on NBC’s 6:30 p.m. national news.

What could possibly top that?

As if you couldn’t guess, it was Obama.

Did he suddenly withdraw from the presidential race? Did the news break that he and John Edwards shared the same mistress? Was there a nasty paternal fight brewing between Dumb and Dumber over the ensuing love child from that relationship? Did Obama finally admit he was indeed a full-fledged, card-carrying, Koran-thumping Muslim?

Any of those possible storylines carried enough weight to bump flooded Florida from the lead, but none of those stories developed.

What did take the TV news lead that evening was John McCain not being able to remember how many homes he owned.

Say what?

We’ve got fellow United States citizens losing their homes to floodwaters thanks to a storm that just won’t go away, and I’ve got to listen to what amounts to nothing more than the liberal national media playing their political games.

I’m surprised that embedded somewhere in Thursday’s newscast there wasn’t a commercial featuring Brian Williams (or insert any other liberal-minded national news figure) begging Americans to vote for Hussein Obama.

The three-ring circus that was Thursday night’s TV news began its traditional freak show by playing off a recent interview with Senator McCain where he was asked how many homes he owns. McCain couldn’t answer the question.

Gee, here’s a man seeking the highest office in the land, engaged in the political battle of his life, who can’t immediately bring to mind how many homes he owns. I bet if you ask any of our local real estate guys….Jamie Johnson, Lloyd Hill and Wayne Brown come to mind, all honest, hard-working men who have wisely invested in property….they couldn’t come-up with an immediate answer either.

Of course NBC then shifted their cameras to Obama campaigning in Chesapeake, Va. He seized the opportunity to claim that McCain was out of touch with mainstream Americans who are suffering through an epidemic of residential foreclosures.

Of course Obama didn’t mention and NBC News didn’t volunteer information that the purchase of his $1.65 million home in Chicago was aided by Tony Rezko, a politically connected Illinois businessman who was convicted earlier this year on 16 of 24 counts of corruption in an effort to extort millions of dollars from firms seeking state business or regulatory approval.

And, of course, Hussein Obama didn’t tell his audience nor did NBC News report that the Chicago home purchased by the Illinois Senator has six bedrooms, five and one-half baths, four fireplaces, glass-door bookcases fashioned from Honduran mahogany, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a four-car garage.

And John McCain is “out of touch?”

Somebody needs to get real here and it certainly needs to start with those we depend upon for our national news.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at 252-332-7207 or by e-mail at