Do you know who Allan Simonsen is, or what he did this past weekend?
When I woke up this morning I fully expected to hear about an important story during the sports report of the morning news broadcast. I was sorely mistaken.
As I prepared for work this morning I turned on the TV to get a quick hit of the days news including top stories, weather, finance, traffic, and sports. Yes, I know that sports is the toy department of life. I shouldn’t get all worked up about the sports news, but today the sports coverage was indicative of everything that is wrong with journalism today. The sports reporter made no mention of scores, race results, or trades. Instead they chose to focus on an ongoing twitter battle between two tennis stars. Apparently Serena Williams said some less than pleasant things about the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova. This is a personal matter between the two of them, and quite frankly there was no need to report this on the news. What was said has very little bearing on the sports world unless they play against each other at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile in France one of motor sports marquee events was taking place, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At Le Mans various classes of cars compete in a race that lasts 24 hours. The car thats completes the most laps in 24 hours is the winner of their respective class. Le Mans through the years has seen some rather spectacular crashes, due to the long straights which result in cars traveling well over 200 miles per hour. This years edition of the race was only 10 minutes old and 3 laps in when the #95 Aston Martin driven by a 34 year old Danish man, skirted the outside of a sweeping right hand turn at high speed. Video from on board a following car showed that the #95 cars’ left tires went wide and drove over a section of pavement painted to signify the out of bounds area. The left tires hit that paint which was slick due to the rainy conditions and lost traction. The car immediately spun out of control and out of the view of camera. The Aston Martin violently crashed into the guardrails on the side of the track where course marshals and medics rushed to aid the driver. The medics frantically tended to the driver and transported him to the race track, medical center. Shortly after his arrival at the medical center he succumbed to his injuries.
I naturally thought that the news would mention this but at NBC, a tiff between two women tennis players was far more important than the death of a race car driver. It may just be a sports story but it highlights the complete lack of journalism on the part of network news agencies. What else are they not telling us that we really should know about? Journalism in America is dead.
In case you were wondering, the driver of that car was Allan Simonsen.