By Innocent Chia
How else do you explain the robotically senseless commercial interruptions plaguing newscasts, interviews and almost every program that is aired on CNN? Yes, even commercial breaks now seem to be interrupted by the shows and other news programs of the renowned cable network… Right in mid-sentence or question the interviewee or interviewer is brutally and unprofessionally cut-off the air by an ad and, several precious minutes and missed sentences later, the show continues unapologetically. Evidently, there is some bugged programming software for time management that is on rampage and someone at CNN better save the day!
It first came to my attention early-to-mid August and I summarily dismissed it as some one-time glitch or timing error from a dozing member of staff… I had been getting ready for work while watching a CNN Newsroom interview by Heidi Collins or her substitute. It was an interview with an Atlanta-GA councilman that had proposed a bill that would ban any exposed underwear (tongues, G-strings, bras, boxers) etc. You know that this was an important, very important, interview! Yet, just as the councilman delved into the meat of why it is so vital for young men and women to dress up and not down, a commercial crashed into the soup!
The mixed feelings of betrayal and annoyance hovering over me got compounded when the commercial was over because they were now on a different question. It was obvious that both the host and guest were not aware of my predicament, and could care less. It is one thing if a thunderstorm takes the lights out of your home. In that situation you know that you will miss the rest of whatever it is you are watching. It is a different story when a commercial, like a hair in a bowl of salad, interrupts an interview or story!
Unfortunately, that moment’s despair has not ended. From Larry King Live, Lou Dobbs Tonight, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper 360. These shows and the rest are all under invasion by some illegal and terrorist commercial aliens that are winning the war. That these consummate professionals are cut off the air and they do not realize it speaks to the quality of the weapons that the enemy combatant is deploying. But if these anchors fail in this duty, what about those staffers at CNN whose responsibility it is to ensure the smooth running of the network?
It is also an aberration to idly sit by and watch as a consumer. The least of the professionals at CNN get paid the salary of average middle-class American. And if you must sweat it off to pay your cable bill then the least that CNN can do is to assure quality at its end, not shortchange the public by exporting American jobs to some less-than-minimum-wage person on a different time zone in Africa.
I love my CNN. And it must not come to the solution that my friend suggested: “You Know that you can flip to a different channel, right?” It is not option that will be entertained in my quarters…not yet. All we ask for is for the concerned department to get its stuff together. We deserve it. CNN owes it.