Funeral Channel: Live Coverage
Hickey, Jennifer G., Insight on the News
The TV networks are going over the top in the amount of airtime devoted to the coverage of celebrity tragedy and death, while ignoring authentic news and pressing issues.
It was a big day for the big top in Hugo, Okla., particularly for Doris Richard Miller, otherwise known as Mr. Circus, who died in September but had been put on ice by the Carson & Barnes five-ring circus until the show season concluded. While big red noses and cymbal-playing monkeys were not called for, Mr. Circus had left careful instructions for his last performance, -- including being laid out in a red and gold casket, to be carried by a horse-drawn hearse followed by marching musicians playing circus music to enliven his journey to the hereafter.
This "best funeral ever" even included in the procession one of Miller's 36 elephants, missing only live coverage by the cable-TV networks. If only there were a 24-hour funeral channel.
"Think how wonderfully ludicrous that would be. I don't think it is viable, but it is the logical extension" of the current coverage, suggests Jane Hall, associate professor of communication at American University in Washington. While the notion of an all-funeral channel (let's call it RIP-TV) may elicit a dismissive giggle from enthusiasts of black humor, the recent trend of airing everything from tragic events to the funerals that follow them suggests that there may …
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Publication information: Article title: Funeral Channel: Live Coverage. Contributors: Hickey, Jennifer G. - Author. Magazine title: Insight on the News. Volume: 15. Issue: 47 Publication date: December 20, 1999. Page number: 20. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
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