Wednesday, August 17, 2011

901 NewsWatchers


901 NewsWatchers

Weight watchers has this system where they assign each food a “point” value and assign you a daily point maximum according to your starting weight.  For those of us trying to get into a food diet, it works pretty well.  For those of us who want to reduce an unhealthy level of news consumption, we can do the same thing.

So give yourself, say, 27 points as a daily starting point, indicating your news intake is pretty heavy and you want cut down.

Please remember that news sources of equal size do not necessarily have equal nutritional value.

Here’s a partial list of the values you can play with:

>Nightly News at 6:30, or the 7-7:30am half hour of the three major network morning shows. -- Eight points.
>Cable News for 30 minutes --  nine points (a little more fattening.)
>Associated Press, Reuters, Voice of America news item: four points per story.
>Websites other than the above: six points per story.
>CBS Radio newscast: three points per five minutes (relatively high nutrition for time spent.)
>Any other network radio newscast: five points for five minutes (same time use, less nutrition.)

Zero point bonus:  Headlines on the website of any newspaper with a circulation of over ten thousand per day, or Google News/Yahoo News opening pages.

Low points bonus: two points for the front page of any newspaper with a circulation up to and including ten thousand per day, Leno or Letterman opening monologue (but not both.)

Use any combination of these sources to reach your daily point goal.

Reduce that goal slightly each month, maybe two points-per until you are down to ten or 11 points a day.

At all stages of development, avoid the news equivalent of junk food:  Talk radio, All News radio (except for traffic or weather information,) Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, Entertainment Tonight, E!-television, the Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Drudge Report, Newsmax and any of the so-called specialty websites or equivalent television programs:  Politico, Marketwatch, ESPN, TMZ, MTV.  

Until such time as certified rehab programs exist, special consideration will be given for addicts of any major league professional sport as long as coverage is live and part of a playoff series or long-term traditional rivalry (Yankees/Red Sox, Cubs/Cardinals, Dodgers/Giants, Bulls/Pistons, Ravens/Steelers, Rangers/Devils/Islanders.)

Until such time as certified rehab programs exist, special consideration will be given for addicts of financial news as long as it’s consumed on a day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average has moved more than four percent in either direction, the price of oil is over $100 a barrel or the price of gold is over $1790.00 an ounce.  You may choose the front page of the Wall St. Journal, or 30 minutes of one of the following:  Bloomberg Television, CNBC, Fox Business News or American Public Media’s “Marketplace.”


Shrapnel:

--You can do this.  Encourage yourself.  Work at it.

--The Jenny Craig approach can be substituted.  Arrange for home delivery of the top half of the front page of the New York Times, followed home delivery of Brian Williams’ or Scott Pelley’s script each evening.  Scripts are delivered FedEx and packed in dry ice.

--The Dr. Atkins approach also can be substituted.  TiVo the top of the Today Show newscast at 7am, the CBS World News Roundup or the front page of the Christian Science Monitor.  Use only the protein.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2011

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