Disclaimer: The following in about 92% true. This is based upon the inadequacy of my own memory, varying levels of insomnia-induced confusion and personal tendencies towards hyperbole. Please don't take any of it too seriously - the stories, yourself or life in general.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cleveland's 11 O'Clock News: Sex, Boobies and Sleazy Politicians

There’s nothing like a good dose local news to compound my complete loss of faith in the human race.  You’ve got the 80s-called-and-want-their-shoulder-pads-back outfits, the sordid tales of rape and murder delivered without so much as a batted false eyelash and the sex and money laundering scandals of local politics – priceless.  All at once it makes me laugh out load, cry and ponder the existential nothingness of humanity as it spirals downward into a vortex sleazy local politicians, gangs of unrepentant thugs and average singles seeking commitment-free sex.  And Fox 19 Action News at 11, broadcast in living color from a studio in sunny Cleveland, Ohio, has it all.

And here’s what they are serving up tonight. 

First off we’ve got a Clockwork Orage-esque gang of hooligans kicking the crap out of a 70 year-old grandpa.  This is all caught on tape (but of course), which makes you wonder about the morality of the cameraman even more than that of the East 55th Street Hooligans.  The old man survived and the police want your helping identifying the gang of thugs.

Next we’ve got Jimmy Dimora.  My personal hero.  There will never be a dull moment in Cleveland politics as long as we’ve got Jimmy Dimora.  Cuyahoga County Commissioner by day, scumbag by night.  Well actually he’s a scumbag by day too.  But let’s not split hairs here.  Accused, among other indiscretions and white-collar crimes, of unscrupulously accepting bribes of all kinds, Jimmy D awaits trial and endures almost daily ridicule in various Cleveland news outlets.  Fox News’ latest highlight of his indiscretions is billed as, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  Unless you’re Jimmy Dimora.  Stay tuned for more details after this word from your local sponsor.”  This time our hero Jimbo spent at least $2000 on hookers, ahem, I mean on a “private massage” at The Mirage in Vegas.  He attended a nude pool party at Bare Pool which does not disclose its pricing on the web site.  If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.  After Fox makes several failed attempts to wring a comment from JD, they conclude with a clip of the hero himself calling them, “full of bleep,” and “ridiculous.”  Now Mr. Dimora, I respect your intelligence, but that seems a little bit like the pot calling the proverbial kettle black. 

Also on tap tonight we’ve got Miss Ohio (and a handful of other Miss Universe contestants) getting naked.  There is nothing the local news loves more than a PG version of Girls Gone Wild.  Donald Trump, the executive producer of the Miss Universe Pageant, placates his PR department by saying that, “this might have been a little over the top.”  But his true class and grace really shines when he follows up with, “we are, after all, in the business of beauty.”  Right.  By the way, those are gross paraphrases.  Fact checking is not my thing.

Which brings us to the grand finale of Fox 19 Action News at 11.  This titillating tidbit was advertised not only throughout CSI Miami, but also throughout 24.  Anything that shares billing with Jack Bauer has my vote.  It is entitled “Friends With Benefits.”  The voiceover man ominously asks, “When does this disturbing new phenomena jeopardize a friendship?  Tonight at 11.”  (Again that’s grossly paraphrased and negligently incorrect.  I told you, I’m not a researcher.  I’m a writer.)

This statement begs further examination.  One, since when did casual sex with a close friend become a “new phenomena?”  Pretty sure we’ve been fucking just for the fun of it, with no strings attached, since the human race started to walk upright.  And maybe even when we didn’t.  Second, why is this newsworthy?  Third, why am I actually staying tuned until 11 to watch it? 

Like any good one-night stand, the story is all build up and anticipation with not climax.  I am left with a nasty case of news story blue balls.  The only “fact” I learned was that 1/3 of all relationships lack exclusivity.  How they ascertained this fact was unclear.  But then again, who am I to judge a distaste of fact checking?  So after a morally corrupt gang of degenerates, a scumbag used car salesman of a politician and a naked beauty queen with Playboy aspirations, what advice does the newscaster give me – “Always avoid sex with the ex.  That is always a bad idea.”  Thanks for the advice friend.

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