My wife and I miss NWI, which was our main TV news source. But, we decided to give the new Gore TV channel, Current, a try.
First off, we are NOT the demographic it is aimed at. We are nerdy, post-35 parents struggling to maintain a nice home in a nice neighborhood. The demographic of Current is young, “hip” kids. More below.
We didn’t much like the format. Too disjointed and the hosts were irritating, almost like Frat boys. I particularly didn’t find myself sucked in at first. But then…
My wife observed that, as it intends, Current TV IS kind of like surfing the internet. Not that you have much control over what you find, but it is that kind of addictive, short-attention span, disjointed sufing feel. We WERE sucked in the same way we were sucked into web surfing. So it succeeds in that.
Then there was content. Some segments (they call them “pods” which I kind of like) just seemed silly and sensationalist, like the one trying to track down Japanese people in Tokyo who had signed online suicide pacts. But two segments in particular made me realize what Gore is up to. He really is trying to give quality (if short-attention-span friendly) progressive TV to the youth. One segment followed a reporter covering the anti-Globalization demonstrations in Miami who got shot in the face by riot police. It showed the whole thing on camera. Police brutality of demonstrators caught on film and actually covered by the media. THAT is something you don’t see everyday and THAT is why Gore is doing this.
Then there was a segment on a woman in Texas who became a Baptist minister. AH, now the PROGRESSIVE end of religion. Another thing you don’t see every day.
They also covered the idea that maybe abstinence only isn’t a good approach to the AIDS epidemic and what we really need is sex ed, but it wasn’t covered as well as the above two pods.
Rather than get further sucked in, we shut off the TV (we try to be good examples to our kids–not TOO MUCH TV). But I was left with a sense that Gore really is aiming at reality-based TV (not reality-TV, but the factual counterpart to Fox “reality” TV. So give it a try, folks. See what you think. I do feel too old for the demographics. I figure if you remember the first days of MTV you probably are too old for the first days of Current TV, but it is still worth a look just to see what Al Gore, backer of the legislaiton that created the internet, is up to today. You can also check it out online.
My 10 year old step-daughter was watching it too. She liked it very much and was REALLY angered by the part about protesters being shot at. So I am now really convinced Gore knows what he is doing! He got a point across to my video-game absorbed, pre-teen step daughter.