I’m in a bad mood. I intended to write about music and death today, but the Chicago media has left me feeling homicidal thoughts toward it. Short of carrying out a physical assault, I am left with little recourse.

Now before I offend anyone who does not wish to be confronted with vulgar language, I extend this warning to move along if you don’t wish to read what follows.

I’ll give you time to leave the room.

Let me continue.

I live four blocks from the convicted former governor-turned celebrity hairdo Rod Blagojevich. Everyone knows by now that he was convicted of corruption charges and sent to prison for 14 years. He was guilty and deserves to be punished. Few can dispute this. Yesterday was his last day as a free man. So how does the Chicago news media react? By stationing helicopters above my house for the past two fucking days! And for what? To capture the proverbial “OJ in the Bronco” scene of him driving to/from his house in Ravenswood Manor?

Cheap, lazy, drive-by journalism. This is what we get.

The dude’s crimes, let’s face it, were far less reprehensible than the previous governor’s, whose department sold a driver’s licenses to an unqualified truck driver who later killed a family when a part came off his truck and cause the family’s minivan to explode in a fiery crash all to benefit his campaign war chest.

Yet, reality show freak Rod Blagojevich somehow became deserving of round-the-clock helicopter surveillance. And the collateral damage is to those of us who just happen to live nearby.

Now what is the journalistic value in this? The answer clearly is there is none.

I came home yesterday, Rod’s penultimate day of freedom, to a chopper hovering directly above my house, four blocks away from the action. The temperature was over 80 degrees outside and it was the first day of the year I could open the windows and door to my deck to relax after work. But some asshat producer at one of the local TV stations decided he/she needed to have the helicopter shot. I wanted to grab him/her by the balls/tits and drag the sonofabitch into the street for a beatdown. Thanks for ruining my evening you fucking fuck.

News bureaus all over the country struggle to budget coverage of real stories and this bullshit TV station wastes its resources not on reporting the inner workings of city/county/state — you know, stuff that actually matters — but on a money shot that will last about 10 seconds, only repeated ad infinitum.

That was only yesterday, when I arrived home already an hour after Blago’s alleged doorstep press conference/going-away party.

This morning, as I tended to the mess outside the litter box my dying cat made, I again heard the incessant beating of chopper blades. It was five-fucking-thirty in the morning. Pitch black. Three choppers this time. Unless they were using a camera with night vision, the TV stations were paying for an hour of fuel and airtime unnecessarily before  there was even a cheap shot to take.

I wanted to take that bird down. I fondled the laser pointer toy I use with my cats and considered going commando. As I took the trash out to the alley, I seriously wanted to act out Blackhawk Down on their asses. If I had, you would be seeing me on the TV news tonight.

We see this happen all the time with sensational news stories. Yet little can be done. I’d propose restricting airspace above neighborhoods, but I am sure network lawyers would be successful in appealing any law such as that. I’d organize a boycott, but, frankly, I stopped watching TV news when I got an education. I don’t need it to dumb me down.

And so I left with only a neutered response. A pox on all your houses, members of the TV news media. May karma be your bitch. Go eat a hot dog.

About the Author

Tom Long

Tom Long is one-third of the seldom heard Chicago band The Ethyl Mermen. The name Tom Long can be found in the dictionary, Baseball Encyclopedia and a pub in Ireland. Tom Long is not affiliated with any other Tom Long; he won the rights to use his own name after prevailing in a three-way game of Jan-ken-pon by choosing "dynamite!" No Toms were harmed in the making of this blog.

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