Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I googled the “Jerry Springer Show” before writing this editorial. I legitimately wondered if the show known for barbaric people throwing chairs at one another was still on TV. According to the trusty Wikipedia page, it most certainly is. It has been on for 25 years and is still going strong. Wow, 25 years.
The reason I bring up Jerry Springer, a show I rarely think about and God forbid actually watch, is it serves as a metaphor. It is the ultimate public humiliation show. It sets people up to look foolish in front of millions for their viewing pleasure. There are people who want attention, and there are plenty out there willing to let them have it.
I tend to think in some ways when a Wichita television station news truck pulls into Wellington to do a “fact finder” or a “news on your side” expose, Wellington, as a whole, is about took look like those saps on the Springer show. There is something rotten happening in Wellington. And the rest of the state needs to know about it.
This week, a news story surfaced on Wichita TV about our high utility rates. That is a legitimate concern and people have reason to complain. But my problem isn’t the subject matter as it is becoming a statewide news story. The routine is always the same whether it be no more horses in the parade, a silly football skirmish, or the hospital closing when it is not. Newscasts are single dimensional. A TV reporter talks to about three or four individuals, including someone “on the street” who usually has little idea what the subject matter is about, leaves town, edits the story and puts it on the news broadcast later that evening.
There rarely is a follow up, or if the problem has been solved.
And I’m usually perplexed. Why would someone in Salina care about Wellington’s high utility rates? Where is the statewide news interest? Do I care if say, they have high utility rates in Garden City?