I want to let you in on a little secret about TV folks. Take it from me -- we're nuts, folks. We're all nuts.
We're so insecure, we're constantly re-making ourselves, not to impress you, dear viewer, but our colleagues. Sorry, viewer.
Forgive us, for we know exactly what we do. And what we do not want to do is be laughed at.
Never. Ever. Laughed at.
We want to be at the picnic. Not the skunk at the picnic.
We all want to be in. We all want to be loved. We all want to be... cool.
Which is why we all tend to stick with a script. The same script. Written by us, for us and only us.
On the same issues. Pretty much all issues.
Take this Dow rally. The cool thing to say is the president made it possible with all his stimulus spending. The not-so-cool thing to say is Ben Bernanke's the real guy who made it possible, with all his stimulus spending.
Or this budget fight. The cool thing to say is Republicans are obstructionists for demanding less spending. The not so cool thing to say is Democrats then must be equally obstructionist for demanding more spending. Fair is fair, but that doesn't mean it's cool.
What's cool is believing in climate change and arguing for spending billions to fix it. What's not cool, indeed the height of idiocy, is questioning climate change and whether we can fix it.
Cool is giving billions to Darfur. Not cool is dare questioning whether those dollars are actually getting to Darfur. That's heartless, clueless and the epitome of un-coolness.
Cool is praising a New Jersey governor who shouts down Speaker John Boehner for holding up his Hurricane Sandy dough. Not cool is reporting there's billions in waste in that Sandy dough, so maybe we should get it out of that Sandy dough.
Cool is always assuming the corporations are evil. Not cool is now and then dare reporting most corporations are not.
Cool is Apple, even though it ships thousands of jobs abroad. Not cool is Big Oil, even though it pays the lion's share of taxes here.
But woe to the anchor who commends Big Oil for that or points out those Apple inconsistencies for long. Before long, you're not adding to the debate. You're fodder for the debate.
You have violated the rules of the club. You are outside the club. And the club is now laughing at you. And no one in my business likes being laughed at.
We want to be loved and praised and pseudo-kudos on pseudo-news shows. And invited to parties that matter and join bold-face names that matter more.
Too many of us have worked too long trying to get in the club that we will avoid anything - anything -- that could get us clubbed and kicked out of the club, even when we club ourselves by bending our club rules. Like saying John McCain's not cool now because he sounds so establishment, even though we used to call him very cool and a maverick, when he was challenging the Republican establishment.
That's not cool, my friends. That's creepy.
Look, I'm not saying I'm better, but maybe because I deal with slightly bigger issues in my life, my media image isn't life and death. Like I said, thick skin.
Any hope I have the media might challenge its conventional wisdom covering any of these stories? Let's just say, fat chance.
It just seems odd to me that a media that celebrates diversity, cannot and will not, tolerate it amongst its own in reality.
All the news that's fit to tint.