Been thinking about this “Late Night News” presentation lately.

“Tragic accident on the south side. Now over to Bob.”

Bob stands solemn, microphone in hand, nods and tells the story of whatever tragic event happened and nods again at the end saying, “And I’m Bob. Over to you, Mary Lou.”

Mary Lou says, “Thank you, Bob.”

OK. whatever happened is tragic enough and it doesn’t make it less tragic because YOUR name is Bob or HER name is Mary Lou.

Bob could be telling the story, or Mary Lou or Billy Joe McAllister on his way off the Tallahatchie Bridge (1). (Although, I do want to know what really happened on that sleepy dusty Delta day, the third of June. “Hit the river swimming and didn’t stop until I reached shore and started a new life … that chick was stalking me .. and I’m Billy Joe.” Now that’s a story.)

Back to topic. I know. I know. They want us to feel connected, like a friend is in our living room is with us for the ten o’clock news (later on the coasts). But, I am sure this has happened to you.

Ding Dong ( doorbell rings).
“Honey, it’s Bob.”
“Hi Bob.”
“Jeff, do you know 2 people were shot today, another 3 were injured in a car wreck and the weather calls for tornadoes.”
“Welcome to my living room, Bob. Want something to drink? ”

Why not just tell the story? Or even better yet, why just NOT tell the bad stories and give us some good news stories instead? Even Huey Lewis and The News works for me.

I defer to the Miriam Webster dictionary for a definition of “news.”

a : a report of recent events
b : previously unknown information
c : something having a specified influence or effect

Nothing in the definition requires news to be horrific, horrendous or heartbreaking.

“It is estimated that over 60 million Americans have some type of issue sleeping.” (2)

37 percent of Americans, times pi multiplied by the number of rungs in the Tallahatchie Bridge watch the Ten or Eleven o’clock news before they go to bed. (OK, I made that one up, but you get the point.)

Coincidence? I think not.

If you must watch TV before bed, try an episode of an old comedy show before you sleep, instead of the late night news show. Maybe you can sleep smiling then.

Over to you, Billy Joe.

1- “Ode to Billy Joe”, written and performed by Bobbie Gentry, was a number one hit in the summer of 1967.

2- Numbers are according to There is a whole website devoted to sleep disorders at if you care to learn more.