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Please stop -- I can't take it anymore! The drivel of the news ....

Updated on December 2, 2011

It's two years since I published this extract from my writers journal dated November 27,2009. I'd unpublished almost a year ago, but today I decided, what the heck. Let it be. It's not bad writing, not bad at all. And nothing much has changed since that day -- sadly. -- Lynda December 2, 2011

It's just a bad day -- bad hair -- bad news. And bad news reporting.
It's just a bad day -- bad hair -- bad news. And bad news reporting.

I can't take it anymore -- please make it stop!

I was going to take this week off from writing hubs. I have bigger things to write, and rewrite, and rewrite. I thought I was perhaps using hubpages as a distraction from dealing with the writing I must do. So, I told myself, take a week off. Yes, I allowed, I can read my favorites every morning with my coffee, and I must, every day, read a hubber whose work I haven’t read yet.

But I would not write, I vowed. Not until I caught up on my bigger projects.

So today, I was reworking some dialogue and scenes with my old friend CNN softly muttering in the background. Big mistake – both today and yesterday. My head was full of distractions and CNN was feeding them.

My friend, Kartika Damon, wrote a very thought provoking article about bimbos and headlines, and that set off a train of thought that would not vacate my mind – but I did my best. To no avail.

Yesterday, aforementioned bimbo was all over the news. Carrie Prejean, you’ve all heard the name. Well I hadn’t. I’m serious. There’s a certain side to the news my mind automatically throws into the spam file, and I’m not even aware of it. I didn’t know. Nope, not until yesterday, when I read Kartika’s article, and then my ears were all attuned to it. Presto! There she was.

I listened, but not wholeheartedly. Then, my curiosity aroused I googled her – and got the low down. Then I really listened. (Apologies to my editor; I know I should have been doing other things.) I heard her say, “I thought we had freedom of speech and look what happened to me. I was attacked. I was punished.”

Let’s see. Um, they found a few videos of you naked on a bed, doing sexually explicit acts, but we, the public, aren’t allowed to see them, cause they’re too racy. (Not that we really wanted to.) Gee – I never knew a crotch shot constituted speech of any kind – free or not. Honey, that orifice doesn’t speak; that’s not its purpose. And what it is for doesn’t belong on film – not for anyone.

“Oh, but I was only seventeen, and young and it was the biggest mistake I ever made.”

That’s called child porn and is illegal, darling. There’s something your Mum should have told you – think before you speak. Besides, the others out there claim you were twenty. And I don’t wonder why -- silly girl. I expected better judgment from my daughters when they were thirteen, so don't sob on my shoulder.

“I was fired!”

Well, rightfully so -- what ever made you think a job had no responsibilities? Now I don’t like the idea of beauty pageants at all – find them ridiculous, pathetic and demeaning. That’s my old lady opinion.

When I was a girl, I remember watching them. But back then, the contestants weren’t miracles of modern medicine; they were real. And they not only looked good, they were judged on poise, ability to speak (and in those days, it went beyond ‘I want world peace.’) They had to show talent and yes, the baton twirlers were dubious, but I remember young women who wrote and read their own work, played the piano, danced ballet, enacted famous female monologues – well you get the picture. The prize was a scholarship, to be used for an education, not new boobs.

We girls admired them. In our awkward pubescent fantasies, we were them.

And therein lies the rub. Even though the whole spectacle has degenerated to an unnatural emphasis on unnatural bodies and faces, you still influence our girls. And what kind of role model are you?

I’m glad you were fired, and stop whining about it – please.

“I’m a victim of the press.”

Then stop. Say thanks but no thanks to the press dance. They’ll soon leave you alone. But that’s not what you want – no, not at all. You’re enjoying every minute of your affected “ I’m-just-a-victim” routine. My heavens, this is more attention than you could have ever imagined, had you played by the rules. And you wrote a book about it, too – how darling. And tell me did you write it yourself?

But you weren’t alone. No, another tells-all, and poor me, and screw-them-it’s-time-to-score-a-few-points-myself book also hit the market. (And it wasn’t my fault McCain lost – honest.) Well sugar, you sure didn’t help him.

Today – today, that’s all that happened in the world! I’m serious. Hour after hour, of Sara Palin – it was driving me crazy – but you note, I didn’t turn it off. No. I really must listen to this, I told myself. I must try to understand this country I’m spending so much time in.

The effort is driving me crazy.

I should be creating something of meaning, something that comes from my heart – my book. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing, but I’m fascinated by the spectacle I see before me. I can barely believe it. Panels have been organized – three or four different ones and all women. How interesting, but sad -- at the same time.

Now I’m not saying Sara Palin is a bimbo, or anywhere near the class of Carrie Prejean. I’m not that well informed. To tell you the truth, I was one of the fools that discounted her years ago – when she first showed up, and assumed she was a flash in the pan.

“I’m just a regular American – a hockey mum and God Bless the hockey mums.”

God bless them indeed. I’m Canadian and I know all about hockey mums. But I don’t know I want them to lead my country. I don’t think they play hockey in China, and excuse me – but is Sara Palin who you want to send over there to negotiate terms for your co-existence – one that has become symbiotic to your survival? Or do you want Sara Palin to try to deal with Pakistan?

She’d probably do okay with Canada. After all, for a lot of years she was closer to us than you. And she’s a hockey mum – the warm fuzzies take over.

One of her supporters – a young woman – states, “How can you say she’s not qualified? She was the governor of the biggest state in the union for two years.”

The biggest state in the union – of course I think Texas – but then remember she was the governor of Alaska. (Yes, of course it’s bigger.) What fun! We know Alaska, we Canadians. Alaska has a population of 686,293 people and even though they’re spread pretty thin, most of the state comes under the Federal Government anyway as it is restricted access military territory. So she’s the equivalent of the mayor of a medium sized city in the U.S. And for two whole years. Is it like speed reading -- learn to govern in twenty-four months or less?

And she quit! Think about that. She quit, halfway through.

Of course, then the subject of her “sexy” magazine cover came up. By this time I wanted to thrust my fingers down my throat, the taste in my mouth was so bad -- on all fronts. Not so much that she posed for it – though I’d hardly consider that Presidential comportment, but what was made of it. It’s a running magazine and she follows the sport. Could it not be she was showing off her great physical shape in that context? (So there! – I see both sides of an equation.)

That’s not what why I fear she may very well become a serious contender. It’s because, from my point of view as an outsider, I see that she is just plain not competent to run this country, nor to represent this country to the world. And it wouldn’t matter to me if she was Rep. or Dem. She just isn’t that … (oh my God, I’m stuck searching for the right word) – Mature? Ready? Educated? Worldly? Informed? Yes, all of these and I have to say – smart. Hopefully it’s not that big a fear. After all, the latest polls show “only 29% of Americans think she’s fit to be President” and then suddenly, I’m shaking, scared to think that that many do. (It's almost a third)

Here we are – almost a year after the last election and she’s still filling up the airwaves. And I’m not at all sure why that is – it’s definitely beyond this non-resident alien’s understanding.

One thing I can say – the staff of CNN might as well get down in the streets and flog her book personally – why not? Could they have given her a bigger release day publicity ride? Isn’t that what it’s all about? So get out there and push that book.Be good little minions.

(She didn’t even write it, anyway.)

I wonder about this elevation of women I can honestly say I find embarrassing. Of all the smart, serious, interesting, informed, charismatic American women – are these really the best you can thrust into the limelight? Carrie – send her back to school. Sara – she does have some interesting qualities and I suspect she’d make a decent talk show host, or even an opinion news show commentator – along the lines of Glen Beck. Don’t you think?

But President – ooooh, the thought gives me a shivery feeling. Please don’t make the first woman President of the United States this woman – who to be kind, does have her interesting qualities. But leadership is not one of them.

I remember all the jokes about Barbara Bush and her looks – as if she wasn’t qualified to be the wife of the President -- (I don’t buy in to this whole first lady routine. It seems kind of silly. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the Prime Minister’s wife, because in Canada, such things are unimportant – and we certainly don’t want to know anything about their sex lives, even if they are getting blow jobs behind the chairs in the House of Commons – we’re that kind of country.) At any rate, I have trouble believing she wasn’t acceptable to be the President’s wife because she wasn’t glamorous. There was nothing wrong with B.B.’s looks – she looks like what she is – a grandmother and matriarch. We should all be so lucky. Have we become so frivolous, so superficial , so shallow that we demand “display” attributes of all women? Welcome to the world of the Barbies.

What was it all for? All that work and struggle back then, if this is what women are reduced to – yet again.

Where are all the women in this country who are making new inroads in medicine and research, leading the charge in legal issues, writing Pulitzer prize-winners, captaining industry and heading families in these difficult times? Why are we listening to hours of drivel from women who do not represent the reality of American life? And are not suitable role models for any of us?

We are adults. We have brains. Please treat us accordingly.

Can we please have some real news – it’s a big world. Don’t make me turn to the BBC to find out what’s happening out there.


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    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Synchronicity -- right! And I thought it was only a Sting song:-).

      Well, Lynda. You did ask for this. I will not bore you or your readers with the full comment. If you (or they) are interested, do pop over to "Best Beauty Pageant Answers."

      Here are some select excerpts from the comment I received this morning. At 8AM. The significance of the time is revealed toward the end of the statements. Which, for convenience's sake, I have numbered.

      Must run now. Gotta go spread smart in the community -- even though it doesn't make any difference (rolleyes).

      1. I'm actually a state teen title-holder.

      2. Jealousy and underhanded statements spread ignorance, not clarity. So my hat is off to you if that is what you were trying to accomplish.

      3. Every cultural group has stereotypical characteristics that make it easy to turn up your nose to them.

      4. I genuinely think if you spoke with an actual title-holder instead of ripping apart an innocent girl's character and intelligence, that you would be very impressed by her.

      5. While you're reading this response, you're probably a little ticked off at my rebuttal.

      6. While you're flustered in a self-righteous hurricane, I'll be on my way to go encourage high school students to pursue college and other educational opportunities.

      I do this every single week for 3 hours, before 8AM.

      7. So I would like you think to yourself when reading this response, "Which one of us is doing something worthwhile today? Who is inspiring undereducated children?"

      8. You may think I'm "stupid" or "ditzy" because I've participated in pageants, but "ditzy" apparently makes more of a difference in our communities than "smart" does.

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hey, Mr. Happy. Out of the park at last, I see. I haven't had the time to read your latest hub on that subject, but I will. Soon. Tomorrow, I hope.

      I think all this wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't labelled as news. This is not news. It's chat TV, so let's call it what it is. I have trouble finding real news, other than the never-ending in-fighting of the GOP, that is. There's a big world out there where many important things are happening, but do we know what they are? No.

      Anyway, I'll quit before I write a whole new hub. And thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Lynda

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great article Mrs. Lynda! I have no clue who Carrie Prejean is and I am not really into beauty pageants but I think that there is a thing in common here (between beauty pageants and politics): aesthetics over substance.

      Sarah Palin was and still is just spin. It all makes me think about that great movie made at least a decade ago, "Wag the Dog" ... most people just buy-into whatever the local TV channel says on the six o'clock news. She was fabricated for mass production.

      For some reason since I came back, I have not watched that much news anymore. My addiction to news has somehow diminished. Maybe it was the living in the park, who knows ... either way the TV is off now and I think I don't mind it that way.

      Thank you for putting this article back-up again - I did miss it the first time around.

      All the best!

      P.S. And yes, I also think it is still relevant!

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hey Mighty Mom -- That kind of coincidence is call synchronicity and it happens all the time, and usually for a reason. I think you should share why you were chastised by a teen beauty pageant wannabe. Sounds too delicious to miss. About my nudie avatar, she's classic (like me) and vintage (also like me)and such nudity is art!

      Thanks for the visit to this old and dusty, once discarded hub. -- Lynda

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      In a fitting turn of symmetry, Lynda, I was just this morning chastised by a bona fide pageant contestant (of the teen variety, no less). What are the chances of that??? A hub I wrote many moons ago, attracting a comment from a Carrie Prejean pretender, this very morning!

      And now I log on for my PM Hub Pages shift and voila. There you are. At the top of the page.

      Talking about beauty pageants and beauty queen presidential candidates.

      Too uncanny not to comment. Although I must confess, I'm at a loss for words. Just smiling and nodding over here.

      BTW, I could be shallow and judge you on your nudie avatar. But I shall refrain. Because I can:-)!

      Yours, MM

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks Duchess -- and I'm always happy to hear from you.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      lmmartin, I read all of your hubs, even though I don't always comment. (Just wanted you to know that as I know you read mine). I often find everything I would like to say, you have already said . . . I'll be sure to pipe in when I have something to contribute! :)

      I would like to know about your book though.

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Nan, My book? I'll email you directly on that one. And you are so right, Sara Palin would be just fine as a mom with lots to share, but she isn't happy being that, but she can't fill the shoes she wants to wear. Honestly -- I do believe she should get her own TV show.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Where is your book, and when will it be coming out. You have a lot of information to share and I enjoy reading your material. Poor Sarah Palin, she is OK being just a MoM.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The news media has become a propaganda machine, plain and simple.

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Wow, what a scary future you foresee. Though I do agree with you on keeping the unwashed masses from any involvement in what's really going on in the world. How can they? No one is telling them what's going on -- just pushing S. Palin's books, and pretending to disapprove of C. Prejean. The old computer adage -- garbage in, garbage out -- holds as true for societies, as well. I am accustomed to balanced, serious, objective reporting on world events, not what passes for news here. And I notice not one story goes on that isn't immediately followed by someone telling us how we should feel about it. Heaven forbid we should make up our own minds.

      Contrary to some comments -- this hub wasn't really directed at the women I used as examples -- but at the so-called news media itself.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      "Have we become so frivolous, so superficial , so shallow that we demand “display” attributes of all women?"


      Bread and circuses Immartin.

      As to Carrie whoever, the only bad publicity is no publicity. That's one of the first things the wannabe famous learn.

      Bread and circuses.

      They keep the unwashed masses from any awareness of, or involvement in, what's really going on in the world around them. By the time the realize what's been done, it will be too late. It'll be orange jumpsuits for anyone who thinks there's a problem with the "system". Anyone criticizing it will probably be considered a "domestic terrorist".

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Beata,

      We do live in shallow and commercial times, but we do not have to be shallow and commercial people. And in truth -- all I wanted is to know what was happening in the world that day. That is my real beef. If we rely on these supposed "news" channels, we'd be totally and completely ignorant on world affairs and know absolutely every little bit of gossip about .... Oh! don't you love it when revelation strikes!

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      9 years ago from Western Australia

      My dear Immartin, we live in 'shallow and commercial' times when the main rule is: 'any news is good news for publicity'.

      I don't watch commercial TV channels as they make me feel empty and 'cheap'. But I would not blame only press or media for their commercial and shallow news, they just reflect our own need for them.

      Thank you for your comment my loyal friend. I don't deserve you...all the best with your writing, you have so much to write about, your message is powerful...our planet would be in better shape if there would be more people like you...

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi poetlorraine. Thanks for your comment.

      Hi Kartika -- we'll let you folks live on in your delusions. It's the only humane thing to do.

      pgrundy -- look forward to your hub in the morning.

      Hi nicomp, Wow, put a mark on the calendar! Nicomp agrees with me. Thanks for coming by and you're right -- she's proven herself unequal to the task in so many ways.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I've also revised my opinion of Sarah since she quit. If she can't stand the heat in the Alaska State Kitchen, what will she do in Washington? Surely we can do better.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      Ha! Well, surely you know whoever runs America(and, she wants to run it!, runs the universe! lol

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      interesting hub.... enjoyed it very much

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I know what you mean about the endless content devoid of actual content. That IS maddening.

      I don't think women are respected, but I want to thank you because you inspired me to write my own hub on that specific part of it. Rough day at the hospital today (in fact it's my first night at home in five days and nights), so it won't be ready until tomorrow but thanks!

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Oh Kartika -- you disappoint me -- Sara Palin doesn't want to run the world -- just the U.S. (Oh gosh, how many times do we have to make this distinction) And you may have guessed this was written in the wee hours of the morning, with a glass of wine in hand. I simply couldn't believe the coverage on CNN and had to vent somewhere. Now, back to my book. Oh -- thanks for coming by.

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      Hey Immartin, looks like I started a landslide! ha! Personally I have no problem being a bit of a bimbo basher when it's called for or time to call it out. As you wisely said, there are so so so many women doing fantastic work out there or at home raising kids and being active in their communities - they should be making headlines.

      Pgrundy, you are so right on - why aren't we talking about them - an example of a brainy, beautiful woman is Katrina Vanden Heuvel editor of The Nation (just one of my favorites). If Carrie Prejean wants to be taken seriously, she needs to get serious, and if Sarah Palin wants to run the world, she needs to get qualified.

    • lmmartin profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hey, papajack. I loved your cellphone article. Well this is my beef -- not hating bimbos, but wanting real news.

      Hi pgrundy, it's not the bimbo bashing that's getting me down so much as the sheer expanse of the coverage into nothing. And this smart woman wants to know what's going on in the world. The flip side here (at least with Sara Palin)is that having so much exposure gives her a kind of validity. When 29% of people still think she'd make a good leader -- I worry.

      When will we start to respect women? I think most of us do. If we didn't, this media frenzy wouldn't be such a turn-off. My point is, move on.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We're going backwards in the U.S. Cable and network news is poison. I try to listen to NPR and not too much of that.

      I think it comes down to this: A bimbo ideal sells beauty products, clothing, shoes, diet products, spas, magazines, and insecurity. A smart woman ideal encourages use of a library card. Which is better for business?

      It's disgusting.

      I personally am tired of the bimbo bashing. It's what they want us to do. Hate them, hate ourselves. All women deserve respect. I dislike that the press gives Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean an endless forum, but I know why. I don't hate them because they are beautiful and not very deep. I hate that the press holds this us as a feminine idea/cause for ridicule. When will start to actually respect women? We're not even close.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub Immartin as ususal. Watch Jim Lehrer in the afternoon on PBS. Get the important, real news in one hour.


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