Shrieking Zanies on My Screen

by David Dvorkin

Shrieking zanies on my screen
Make this viewer want to scream,
Make this viewer want some booze.
Endless sports on the nightly news.

How they obsess over injuries.
Mangled elbows, damaged knees,
A ruined back or a shattered hip.
"These could cost us the championship!"

Other news is second rate
When compared to our team's fate.
Wars and floods and all the rest
Matter not if our team's best.

Skip the news. The weather, too.
Our team's coach said something new!
Something stupid, something dumb.
There are no depths he cannot plumb.

Shrieking zanies want to claim
Insight into next week's game.
Coach's tactics, players plans,
Braindead mouthings from the fans.

I don't learn the vital stuff.
Will the drive to work be tough?
Will the roads be wet or icy,
And the drive home tense and dicey?

Did the Dow Jones take a dive?
Is democracy still alive?
Has the Middle East exploded?
Have our rights still more eroded?

Might as well just change the name.
"Mindless babble about every game
"Every night on every station
"And that's it for information!"

Sure, a title that is snappy
Makes a TV exec happy.
In any case, the fact remains:
Sportscast zombies want your brains.

Oh, if I were but in charge
The solid news I would enlarge
The sports "reporters" quickly fire
And proper journalists I'd hire.

No pretty faces mouthing fluff
Smirking at you, all that guff,
Endless babble, wasting time,
While repeating right-wing slime.

They'd all have brains and be well read,
With politics from pink to red.
They'd read the news and analyze.
They'd be Democracy's prying eyes.

They'd tell the truth and pay no heed
To plutocrats and all their greed,
Their lawyers and their paid-for tools,
Their Limbaugh pigs and Coulter ghouls.

We'd know what's what,
Who sold, who's bought,
What deals were made,
What rights in trade.

All that would show
Upon your screen
In this sweet world
Of might-have-been.

But cash controls the info flows
And plutocrats know what to ban.
Once tumbrels rolled. Aristo knows
The danger of the thinking man.

And so they hire pretty critters
A stupid hunk, a vapid fox,
Who, sitting on their well-toned sitters,
Grin vainly from the idiot box.

Their voices loud, of dumbness proud,
They flirt and smirk and pose and preen.
And we are left of news bereft
With shrieking zanies on the screen.