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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ultimate Friday news dump

As the news helicopters circled overhead, bringing us those breathless images of Tito driving away from Fenway Park, I thought, "what a great day to dump bad news."

It continued as Mrs. OL and I sat in a favorite Friday night haunt, TV screens bringing us endless images of Terry Francona arguing with umpires.

I guess it was Anwar al-Alwaki's ultimate bad fate not to be a Red Sox fan: he could only manage Page A-3 in the Globe, and barely a ripple in the Herald.

It's a standard credo in the PR business to try to dump bad news on a Friday afternoon -- fewer people pay attention to Saturday's paper. Whether that's still true in an era where fewer people pay attention to any paper is, as far as I know, an untested theory.

No matter. The rampant overkill of the quitting/firing of Terry Francona will rank as the high/low watermark of Boston media excess -- at least until Bill Belichick departs. Seriously, what exactly was gained by two TV news copters hovering over Fenway at midday -- except high fuel bills?

The endless chatter on TV, radio and social media was no doubt an amusing diversion for what is admittedly a rather large contingent of Red Sox fan(atics). But what news was imparted between Francona's morning visit and subsequent departure and his early evening return to say so long?

Television is of course, more culpable, simply because their need to fill a 24-7 maw with what the late Jack Cole once rightly called "alleged news." But with the expansion of the web newshole -- not to mention Twitter and Facebook -- the explosion of 24-7 "breaking news" has been unsettling.

I can forgive the non-stop coverage on NESN, my dinner companion last night. Co-owned by the Red Sox and the Bruins, it was truly doing it's job. But the fleet of news copters beaming back endless coverage of "we're not sure what's happening inside?"

I just wonder what real news we may have missed during Tito-thon.

UPDATE: The answer, of course, can be found on Universal Hub.

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