How Much Pre-empting is Too Much?

While we sit through shows with commercials advertising hundreds of stations (or those of us without DVRs do, at any rate), and even basic cable has dozens of channels, and as broadband and cell phone penetration reaches something of a saturation point, when is pre-empting going to be retired?

I get that there can be a radio emergency of some kind. For the first time ever, I heard the emergency broadcasting service used recently. That was one radio station, and it lasted for perhaps 30 seconds to announce weather activity. I can live with that. But television? Not so much.

When there is some sort of “official” (usually Presidential) announcement, it’s on a dozen or more channels. I think these days, if someone wants to see it, they ought to go get it elsewhere. There are plenty of outlets, and even web sites broadcast the stuff. Probably can even get it on your phone if you want.

Then you get the benefit concerts. One day I counted something like 12 of them before I stopped. I’m all about helping those in need, but I need my entertainment. Call me shallow, but if I see that many channels broadcasting the same thing, I’m more likely to turn it off than watch it at all. (Update: Even Jerry Lewis is cutting back. So there.)

Just about any sort of news on television is insane. Come in, tell me that there is a problem, and go back to whatever is on. Don’t kill the whole program for 25 minutes of you playing with your doppler radar. Or minimize the show to a quarter of the screen so that you can show me poll numbers during the entire show. Even the announcement of the upcoming show is taking up a quarter of the screen now. Someone needs to reign these people in so I can get back to wasting some brain cells watching Charlie Sheen act like, well, himself.

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