Trial Balloon

False or True?

Posted at 5:15 AM on October 15, 2009 by Dale Connelly (29 Comments)

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I see former Morning Show Chief Correspondent Bud Buck is trying to become a one -man news bureau, filing reports to be picked up and distributed by anyone on the Internet. Bud sent a sample of his latest dispatch with the following note:

"The serious news business is dead. With comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert topping lists as the 'most trusted' names in broadcast journalism, it's clear that the only money to be made in online reporting is with stuff you make up. If it's entertaining, folks will share it with each other and all that attention eventually leads to getting paid through book deals and endorsements and such. I love it because you don't have to waste any time doing actual interviews or thinking about accuracy. And if it has even the smallest grain of 'truth' in it, you can always call it 'commentary'."

Here's Bud's latest "report".

New York Man Says Economic Calamity Was "A Bad Dream" Thursday, October 14 Wall Street, NY By Bud Buck

When things were at their darkest, Wall Street trader Burton Healy Jr. thought his wife for the past 20 years was going to leave him.

"You have to understand, the whole charade that is our relationship has been kept alive by a huge surplus of money," he explained. "Everyone - Vivian, the kids, and even Bridgette, my 'close associate' from the office - they all agree I act like a selfish child, but they put up with it because I bring in enough cash to satisfy everybody."

But as he watched brokerage houses close and the Dow sink below 7,000, Mr. Healy felt his world unraveling.

"I couldn't sleep. Nothing was working. Investors were fleeing. Financially, I was getting killed, but not in a normal way. It was like I had fallen into the mouth of an active volcano and I was being incinerated and crushed simultaneously, 24 hours a day. And that's how it felt when it was bearable. I was sure everyone would leave me and I would soon be broken and destitute."

Today, however, Mr. Healy woke up and realized the constant fear and paralyzing anxiety he had been feeling over a "market meltdown" that went on for "what seemed like forever" had been nothing more than a bad dream - probably caused by something he ate.

"I opened the paper and saw that the Dow was above 10,000. Banks are doing well. Vivian is still here. The kids don't talk to me but what else is new? And my phone is ringing off the hook. All that gut-churning misery I'd been putting myself through about 'the end of the world' - it was nothing at all. Didn't even happen.
I shouldn't have ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, I guess."

As he left for the office, Mr. Healy said impoverished, jobless people in other parts of the country should stop feeling anxious about the economy. "This is a great time to buy stocks", he said, and he predicted that the market will continue its upward trend for the rest of 1999, and onward without pause into the next milennium.

I think Bud is going to be disappointed in this latest venture.

I mean, a get the joke about a 'lost decade' of investing, but in order to be funny, made-up news has to feel like it is based on truth, and I don't think Chilean Sea Bass was all that popular in New York in 1999.

What is your most trusted source of news?


Comments (29)

Trusted news source? I'm too cynical to have a trusted news source. I go on the assumption that most of what I read/hear that is "news" is probably only partly true or that I'm only being told one side of the story. This keeps me from any "news rage" that I might otherwise feel!

Morning Heartlanders!!

Posted by sherrilee | October 15, 2009 6:17 AM


"Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" (i confess) is how i get my current events. Steve reads lots on NY Times and many other sources; but we have a "don't ask, don't tell" rule
yesterday i spent much of the day in the car. the "news" was exactly the same at 5 pm as it was at 7 am (on one of the many stations i dialed - so sad without RH!!)
Spot and Opie (Dream's two 4 month boys) are going to their new home this morning; while we are relieved to find a good home, we are very sad. the barn will be a much quieter place now, until next April when the new batch of kids will arrive.
Good morning, All - love that music Dale and Mike! thanks!

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | October 15, 2009 6:34 AM


Thanks Sherrilee and Barb.
Barb, what's the 'don't ask, don't tell' rule?
Does that mean you're prohibited from reading news articles out loud to each other?
If so, that seems like a reasonable restriction. Most of the time when I try to read something out of a news or magazine article to my spouse, I have to follow it with 'I guess you need to read the whole thing to truly get it.'

Posted by Dale Connelly | October 15, 2009 6:43 AM


Last month, through an agreement with Augustana College, MPR began broadcasting 24 hour news for folks in this locality, providing a much stronger signal than what came out of Worthington. Prior to, they had partnered with Augie to bring us classical - now both are available. NICE! So that's my most-listened-to news source. I also trust Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation.

Sorry to hear about your too-quiet barn, Barb. Empty nesting hits goat herders too, yes?

Posted by Donna | October 15, 2009 6:58 AM


Greetings! I'm with Sherilee -- what trusted news source? Besides MPR of course ... it's pretty bleak out there. The majority of newscasts are sensationalistic and full of sound bites as opposed to useful information.

It's interesting to note the majority of media outlets in the U.S. are all owned by less than 30 people. Can you say monopoly? Besides, most of the commercials you see during newscasts are for pharmaceuticals, which makes me start yelling at the TV.

Stewart and Colbert are hysterical and aren't afraid of skewering their advertisers. I subscribe to Mother Jones magazine. It's a nonprofit, hard-hitting and news dense publication. No fluff allowed! It's a bit radical, but I enjoy it knowing they aren't trying to please advertisers.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 7:09 AM


should be out milking Dream, but i milked late last night so.....
anyhoo - Dale it's really Steve's rule. i am not supposed to ask what he is reading and he won't tell me if i do. ha, ha!
i don't usually read news online. but one day i happened on "The Onion" (not knowing about the Onion) and saw a story about NASCAR canceling all races that day in honor of the death of an author (forget who). i was amazed, so read it to Steve. then he told me about the Onion (all fictional satire, right?) Spin is right. make things up.
and yes, Donna, our nest will be empty this afternoon. i will especially miss Spottie - Dreamy doesn't mind having some peace and quiet.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | October 15, 2009 7:16 AM


I'm guilty of being one of those persons who gets television news almost entirely from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. John Stewart seems to know more and spend more time researching topics than just about anyone I have seen on TV. I do make frequent trips to Google News for written sources.

Good morning, all!

Posted by elinor | October 15, 2009 7:21 AM


Don't get me started on this topic. I will just say that there are some good sources of news and one of the best is Democracy Now which you can get streaming on the internet or on some radio stations, but not on MPR. I have asked MPR to carry this show and was told that they are not interested in carrying this show.

Posted by Jim | October 15, 2009 7:24 AM


I also wanted to share two great sources for nutrition, health and wellness info. There is NaturalNews.com with the Health Ranger, Mike Adams. Also Dr. Joseph Mercola's site, Mercola.com.

Both offer free e-newsletters, search engines for site, and fairly unbiased info based on solid research. FYI ... shutting up now ...

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 7:37 AM


between all things considered and rush limbaugh i think i get a fair and balanced view of the news thats worth monitoring. cbs sunday morning before bob schiefer is my weekly indulgence in tv. that and garrison are the constants on my calendar. the star and tribune gives me a great speed read of the news today but it is all becoming oprah like stuff with glitz taking precedent over content. i enjoy the daily show but i like letterman too. there is an element of news content is there but as john stewert points out he is an entertainer first and the news is just a great venue for humor, what is funnier than life?

Posted by tim | October 15, 2009 7:52 AM


I think KFAI carries Democracy Now, Jim. I hear it when driving to work when I don't have a CD playing.

Posted by elinor | October 15, 2009 7:52 AM


I have no trusted news source but my last trusted sports reporter was Jim Ed Poole.

Posted by Clyde | October 15, 2009 8:11 AM


Dale just played "Big John." When that was popular (way back when?), some one did a saterical take off on it. Every time Dale plays it, I try to remember what the take-off was, who did it. Anyone know?

Posted by clyde | October 15, 2009 8:15 AM


I am aware that KFAI carries Democracy Now and I can get it on TV from LINK TV or FSTV via satalite. KFAI is not available, except by internet, in Clarks Grove where I live.

I have been fumbling around on TB today and think I lost a comment. I wanted to ask Joanne to tell us more about the Anti-Entropy Guild that she mentioned yesterday. I believe Barbara was also interested in learning more about this guild.

Posted by Jim | October 15, 2009 8:17 AM


Hi all,
Totally off-topic, but like Elinor said the other day, it's fun to share successes with people you know. I'm proud of what our city has done in the last few months, and it's featured on AARP's online magazine today...

AARP Magazine Online

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | October 15, 2009 8:20 AM


Maybe not so off-topic if you consider AARP as fair game in the 'trusted source of news' question.

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | October 15, 2009 8:23 AM


I'm with Barb from Blackhoof...Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is a great source for news. I listen to MPR news all day at work and need comic relief by the weekend, for sure. I try to listen when it's on at noon on Saturday, seven am on WPR and two pm on MPR on Sunday...and if I still miss it, there is always the computer archive....don't watch tv news at all. Will try to catch a NYTimes op-ed piece on occasion -- those folks, though opinionated but you know the slant, seem to have a lot of inside information (or do they make it up?)

Trust? well, can't go quite that far. Always need to keep a bit of skepticism at hand.

Happy Thursday all.

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | October 15, 2009 8:28 AM


Wow ... my husband will be gratified to know folks are interested in The Anti-Entropy Guild. I can't explain it -- it's his brainchild and has been dormant these many years.

However, when he wakes up (he's a night owl), I will ask him to answer your questions and satisfy all seekers. I saw your posts yesterday inquiring about it, but was unsure how to answer.

Check back on blog later today, and all will be revealed (hopefully). {I just finished reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dam Brown so I'm all into secrets and revelations!}

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 8:33 AM


Oooops -- that's Dan Brown, also author of "Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" -- the few fiction books I read.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 8:38 AM


As mike knows, I live near Albert Lea, but I didn't participate in the the Blue Zone. I did hear good things about it, including the positive effect on the business at the large farmers market in Albert Lea. In fact, Albert got lots of good national coverage for completing this
pioneering project on improving community health.

Posted by Jim | October 15, 2009 8:50 AM


Are you sure that isn't "Damn Brown?"

Posted by Clyde | October 15, 2009 8:51 AM


I'm with the folks that need a little humor with their news, or at least hope. I tried to listen to Democracy Now (noon - 1:00 on KFAI), and while I admire the show, it seems so bleak, and I end up being mad all day. Doesn't work for me. MPR is pretty balanced, and Wait Wait is good for what I missed during the week. :) If I had TV I'd probably watch John S and Stephen c.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | October 15, 2009 8:55 AM


p.s. Oh, and the Utne Reader!, and Husband reads to me sometimes from The Atlantic.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | October 15, 2009 8:56 AM


Well, I probably shouldn't do as much commenting as I am doing today. I do have a response to Barbara's comment on Democracy Now. Many of the reports there are on the bleak side. However, they have very outstanding commentators on that show who do try to point to signs of hope when they can and try to point out positive things we can do. They don't just shout at you the way some people do when talking about heavy topics.

Posted by Jim | October 15, 2009 9:31 AM


Mike - I just located our AARP magazine (yes, another news source) with the Albert Lea article, which just makes me want to live there.

Joanne - thanks for those health news links; I only knew about Mercola...

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | October 15, 2009 9:38 AM


What is The Anti-Entropy Guild? Entropy means "The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity."

Here's a quote from the web site: "AEG may be a small, but persistant force that strives towards order, and simplicity. That force could be called memory, thought, directed conscious action. The theory is that the universe is not a random event. Only proof is, that the intelligence that exists has persisted to the point of becoming able to think about itself and effect change in a system seemingly bent on non-existence."

I wanted to find others of like mind, educate and inform others to our ideas. Please make donations to my Pay-Pal account. Thank you for your interest.

Posted by Jim in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 10:38 AM


Oh boy, you guys opened a can of worms! Jim's Anti-Entropy Guild was established in 1981, just 1 year before we got married. He still has it saved on his computer after all these years -- I was afraid of that.

The scary part is he's only half-joking ...

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | October 15, 2009 10:43 AM


Thanks, Jim and Joanne, for info on the Anti-Entropy Guild. No comment at this time because I've already commented too much today.

Posted by Jim | October 15, 2009 11:03 AM


I may have to give Democracy Now another chance, Jim, thanks for your thoughts. I do admire Amy Goodman, and with a little more patience I'd no doubt find positive spins there, too. And actually, I get mad hearing a lot of the news no matter where I hear it... :|

Joanne and Other Jim, you got married same year we did. I'm showing the AEG post to Husband, who I think will find it interesting, too. Hmmmm.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | October 15, 2009 11:12 AM


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