Oh, Say, Can You See Why This Story Mattered At All?

The big story for TV news today was the poor Canadian singer, Caroline Marcil, who forgot the words to the US National Anthem at a hockey game, gave up, came back, and slipped on the ice. The video was played over and over. Why? This was the most important story they could come up with? Some poor girl embarassing herself? How is that newsworthy, or have we gotten to the point where it’s national news because we can make fun of people when they make a mistake?

Do news directors choose to use these stories simply because they have it on tape, so they can show it over and over again? It was on CNBC several times yesterday, and it made the rounds to all the local TV stations in the US.

Ms. Marcil isn’t from Philadelphia, but the tape of her gaffe had a prominent place on the Philadelphia TV newscasts. Forget about anything of substance in Philadelphia, we’d rather show you someone from a thousand miles away being embarrassed in public.

No one from a single Philadelphia TV station has ever asked the Mayor of Philadelphia why the taxpayers are paying for him to have not one, but three BlackBerries (Scroll down to “BlackBerry Addiction” about 3/4 down the page). It’s way more fun to humiliate a Canadian woman with no connection whatever to the “City of Brotherly Love”, and do it repeatedly on newscast after newscast — it’s cheaper, too, since we don’t have any film crews on the street any more, and we have to use mostly canned footage from somewhere else anyway.

The Toronto Globe and Mail rightly points out that few Americans know the words to “O Canada” and only about 61 percent of us know the words to our own National Anthem.

And please, don’t get all high and mighty about the “Star Spangled Banner.” The famous poem by Francis Scott Key only became our National Anthem after it was set to the music of a popular, and slightly bawdy, drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven.”

We deserve better from the media than this juvenile glee at their ability to make a fellow human being look foolish.

Apparently Good Morning America tracked her down and let her sing it on the air, giving her an audience that maybe was more interested in hearing her succeed than in making fun of her.

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