I don’t know if I’ve been clear about this, but I am a bit disgusted by what passes for news in pretty much every modern incarnation right now.
Consider Walking Simpsons Episode Ted Williams, AKA The Golden Voice, a man whose mildly interesting story has been over for a solid ten days. But of course it doesn’t matter if there is anything interesting to say about him at all – he’s the Golden Voice and people click on stories about him, and I’m no different. And neither are you, Clicky – I see you.
So let’s take a look at the local coverage of the Golden Voice story from start to finish and then you can decide for yourself if my disgust is warranted. 10tv is right here in Columbus, Ohio, after all – we’re Ted Williams hometown!
Hmm wait. I’m not sure that’s the right word. Homelesstown? Antihometown?
How about Previous Geographic Location. Let’s go with that.
Okay, first, 10tv catches wind of the story through their intricately crafted network (Facebook) of informants and sources (Facebook friends). Thank God they’re out there, keeping the Torch of Information And Stuff burning, right?
That’s a pretty big scoop, says 10tv. It is our sacred duty to share this scoop of Internet Information with the People. It can’t stay buried as a viral Internet video with five billion hits. The world has the right to know.
The next logical step, they report the Internet to everyone. This just in from the Internet, a human being who can do something cool.
Of course I’m linking to 10tv’s online articles, which the clever reader may be aware, are actually from the Internet Itself. But if you watch their news shows, guess what they’re doing?
Reading the Internet out loud, that’s right. Word on the street is, they’re going to add sock puppets pretty soon.
So anyway, the ratings go completely bonkers. Everyone who doesn’t have the Internet is just as crazy about this guy as the Internet was. Editors send out email blasts to their cube farms full of howling, chained-up monkeywriters – start reporting the hell out of this Golden Voice guy, get cracking.
Lucky for them, their phones are already ringing. Everybody wants to hitch their wagons to him, I mean, hell, that’s amazing, isn’t it? I thought the reason they were homeless was they couldn’t do anything!
The job offers start rolling in. Except oddly, they roll through media outlets on their way to rolling in, because they aren’t really job offers so much as they are commercials. Suddenly businesses and sports teams and MTV are all about the homeless community and its vast network of free ad space.
“We’ve always been huge advocates for the homeless community,” says a fictional amalgam of all the job offers incarnate. “We just didn’t know it was cool.”
Then the Golden Voice reunites with his mom. Half of America goes, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwww,” while the other half goes, “What kind of selfish prick hasn’t seen his own living mom in 20 years?”
Meanwhile, back at Non-Internet Headquarters, the editors are screaming, “YES! That kind of shit right there! More of that! Find anyone this singing dollar sign has ever eaten a sandwich with! Type, you filthy animals, type!”
The cube farms erupt with whips and shrieking. Hatches in the ceiling open and murders of local news reporters darken the skies, and all across the city, people whose brains work bustle their children inside and bolt the shutters.
A former rehab roommate says he thinks the Golden Voice is going to be popular. Get that on the front page!
Then Williams heads to California to be a star. The central Ohio news outlets disappear for four days to pop pills and drink vodka in their bathtubs. Why does everyone have to leave us for California? WHY?!
But then the Golden Voice gets arrested for getting into a “heated argument” with his daughter. We don’t know what that’s all about, but okay, at least we got to see him again. Hi, Golden Voice! Be careful with the L.A. cops for the love of God, that’s not Columbus you’re standing in!
Meanwhile the local media is just a tad smug and distant. We tried to tell you California was a slut, but you didn’t listen.
This is what happens when you leave us, says his psycho ex-girlfriend/former media cheerleader 10tv. You belong with us, Golden Voice. You belong with us forever.
Funny how he’s not the Golden Voice all of the sudden, he’s the Homeless Radio Man. That’s still 10tv, just giving him a cold, mirthless stare across the room. You blew it, buddy, you could have had it all.
Then he arrives at rehab – six days later.
And okay, I can imagine if I were headed to rehab, I might take the long way. You might have to hunt me down a little bit, that’s cool, I’m with him on that one.
At least he’s Golden Voice again in that story. You can just see 10tv thinking, Oh yeah, he’s coming back to mama. Who takes care of you Golden Voice? Does that hussy California take care of you? No, she doesn’t.
The next day Williams admits getting drunk and using drugs “in between discovery and rehab.” That’s how they like to word it, but I think I can come up with a more accurate way:
He started drinking and using drugs shortly after we all gave him a stack of money in exchange for hooking a mechanical cow milker up to his soul. How’s that grab you, 10tv?
Big news right there, by the way. Shocking. Every time I give a homeless guy a couple of bucks, I assume that he’s either putting it toward his 401k or investing it in precious metals. You say he drank and smoked it? Damn, that’s crazy. Well, there’s no way anyone could have known that was going to happen, so don’t feel bad, media.
It turns out, they do feel bad, but only because if he’s in rehab, then they can’t report on him. Any chance we can follow him into rehab?
Zero chance, says rehab. Editors explode into clouds of profanity as they break open crates of bananas and expired sausage, throw them into their horrific, writhing reporter pits, then look away in disgust, shielding their faces from the shrapnel and spit. The sound is indescribable.
Get me a Golden Voice story by any means necessary!
Yes, Master, they hiss. Smeagol will get you a Golden Voice story.
How about his tipsy homeless girlfriend? Now you’re talking, get her out here. Oh, dammit, Dr. Phil’s already got her.
Fine, we’ll do an entire story about her appearance on Dr. Phil, there’s nothing weird about that. Every television show is a news story if a reporter is watching it.
And then – for crying out loud, now she’s going to rehab, too! Why does everyone always leave us? Why is Dr. Phil so helpful and awesome, why, why, why?
Three days later, the Golden Voice checks out of rehab, citing reasons such as “screw this” and “please leave me alone, this is none of your business.”
Oh yes it is, says 10tv. Everything is some of our business. When was your last bowel movement and how much did it weigh?
The main thing we get from that article is that he’s going back to L.A. to work. You heard him. He’s the workaholic kind of homeless guy.
He says that he’ll hold a press conference three days later. Then he doesn’t hold a press conference, the big liar pants. Do you think that stops 10tv from writing an article about it?
Nope. Here’s one called No News Conference For ‘Golden Voice’ Williams.
That’s right, it’s an article about the fact that Williams did not hold a press conference. Because bringing you the news that matters is their sacred duty – someone had to come out and tell the truth. About nothing at all happening that day with regards to the Golden Voice.
And that point right there is just about where any Psycho Ex-Girlfriend/Former Media Cheerleader has to make a decision. Do you drop the story just because it’s been over for at least a week and a half? Or do you ratchet up the crazy a notch, and drop an old-fashioned stalking on him?
Dust off your Christmas Tree suit – it’s Stalkin’ Time.
“Golden Voice” Williams Seen In Central Ohio, declares this 10tv article, though a better title would have been Ted Williams Goes To The Carryout.
Because, that’s what it’s about. A woman who went into Speedway and saw Williams and then got her picture taken with him. It doesn’t tell us if she asked him to sign her breasts like Eddie Van Halen, or not.
If you go to the link now, you’ll see that her face is blurred out. It wasn’t blurred out this morning, so I’m thinking she didn’t know that they’d be slapping this one right on the front page. Maybe gave them a ring-ding later and said, hey, I’m ashamed of myself and people are laughing at me and calling me names.
“I just wanted to prove to everybody that he was in South Bloomfield,” she is quoted as saying in the article.
Because that’s usually what it means when you cancel press conferences, that you want your location proven and publicized.
Watch for potential upcoming 10tv articles, Golden Voice Scratches Butt At Vending Machine and A Candy Bar For The Golden Voice: What Kind Of Candy Bar Was It?
I guess the only thing that you or I might be wondering about now, the only loose end left over would be how about his actual ex-girlfriend. The one who went on Dr. Phil and then went to rehab, too. Is she all right, did she stay clean, is she still in there?
Well, that’s too bad, because 10tv’s not wondering that. They don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about – what ex-girlfriend?
Earlier: The Feast of the Golden Voice