I had once been a fan of “Good Morning America”. It was part of my morning ritual – get a little news before heading out into the world. But with cast changes – Charlie Gibson left, Diane Sawyer was added, then Charlie Gibson was brought back, now he’s gone again – I decided to switch.
I switched to “Today” on NBC. Katie Couric seemed to be able to do credible interviews with presidents as well as pop celebrities. But at some point, “news” became secondary. The show became personality-driven and full of fluff. Katie, Matt and Al became over-paid celebrities mugging for the cameras. And when Meredith Vieira replaced Katie, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
So I switched to “The Early Show” on CBS. AOL Television describes this broadcast as “A laid-back news program that also features pop-culture pieces.” That’s an understatement. Along with everyone else, Harry, Maggie & Julie beat to death the stories of Britney and “Octo-mom”, and are now fixated on “Kate & Jon” and Susan Boyle.
Oh, by the way, President Obama is going to announce his new pick for the Supreme Court this morning… now back to the fluff!
Yesterday they presented a story about how we are moving closer to a “Terminator-like World”. The segment, by Cynthia Bowers, “reported” that we have “12,000 ground robots” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and “7,000 pilot-less predator drones”.
Bowers failed mention that these are all manually controlled by a real human being.
But she made a big deal about a Navy-commissioned study on “the ethics of military robots”, which insists that “Autonomous military robots that will fight future wars must be programmed to live by a strict warrior code or the world risks untold atrocities at their steely hands.”
Obviously the commission never saw “Robo-Cop”!
But this morning’s show was the last straw.
Early Show “Medical Correspondent” Dr. Jennifer Ashton presented the findings of officials in Germany that the new Red Bull Cola contains trace amounts of “cocaine”.
COCAINE! OMG! Where can I get some?!?
But when Maggie Rodriguez asked how much “cocaine” they found, Dr. Ashton replied, “0.13 micrograms per can”. And in fairness to Dr. Ashton, she did admit one would have to drink 12,000 liters per day to feel any effect from that amount.
Yes, 12,000 liters per day! That’s more than 3,100 gallons per day! That’s 48,000 cans (in the traditional 8.4 oz Red Bull can)!
That much RBCola would also deliver 280 gallons of caffiene... which I am pretty sure would make your heart explode long before you got your buzz on!
So it’s a non-story. Nobody can drink that much soda each day. Let’s move on.
But to justify her paycheck, she added the alarm, ‘But I don’t think there should be any cocaine in the sodas our children drink’.
And don’t let them drink 12,000 liters of it per day either!!!
Here’s the low-down on Red Bull Cola. Like all colas, RBCola derives some cola flavoring from the coca plant. They don’t try to hide this fact like Coca-Cola does. RBCola also contains derivatives of cardamom and Kola nuts. But the flavoring agent is de-cocainized extract of the coca leaf, which is used around the world for flavoring food products. The removal of the cocaine alkaloid is mandated by international antinarcotics laws.
I realize other news agencies (including MSNBC and Time magazine) reported this “news”; but none sensationalized it like The Early Show’s “medical correspondent”.
So, Harry, Maggie & Julie – I'd like to say it’s been fun, but it hasn't been. So I’m not watching you anymore either.