Magazine article The Progressive

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Magazine article The Progressive

Click Here

Article excerpt

Like millions of Americans, I quickly got fed up with the Monica Lewinsky feeding frenzy. We all know the media is sensationalistic, superficial, unreliable, and filled with screen-hogging egomaniacs. But we still have to watch it, especially for those occasions when, say, our government might be bombing the women and children of a Middle Eastern country because its leader is "thumbing his nose" at somebody or other.

Fortunately, while everyone else was hunting for records of White House phone sex, I got a great scoop--from the very highest unnamed sources--about an innovation that will make news viewing more gratifying. Bill Gates, that great democrat, having finally unbundled his bundle, is putting the development of "Click TV" on the R&D fast track. In the future, Click TV will be a beatific fusion of television and the web, but intermediate versions will attach a mouse to the TV, superimpose icons on the screen, and allow us to click off what we hate.

Sources at Microsoft deny that Gates's first Click TV option is to switch off the news entirely because of the damaging coverage of Microsoft's confrontation with the Justice Department, which made Gates look like the Jay Gould of the late twentieth century, only greedier.

Click TV is based on extensive focus group interviews with news viewers. Here are its main features:

The S.D. Alert icon--Flashing crimson letters warn viewers that Sam Donaldson is coming on the air. This would have been handy the night he returned, after a mercifully long absence, as ABC's White House correspondent. Looking like a bulldog on Benzedrine, eyes and veins popping, arms twitching, and adrenaline exploding, he made it clear that it really, really mattered that now he, himself, could once again yell "Mr. President, Mr. President" into the fumes while Air Force One takes off. When Donaldson and Diane Sawyer co-host a show, a bomb appears on your screen. …

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