I watch way too much cable news. Which is odd because I don’t really like the news. I worked for CBS News for over 40 years. I had to watch the news. I was making the news shows. It was my job.

If I had a choice, I would rather watch the cartoon network  But now I watch cable news all the time. I seem to be morbidly fascinated with the steady decline of America and what the ass-hole-in-chief did today.

I have noticed one interesting thing. Well, interesting to me.

Only old people watch cable news.

How do I know this? Simple. The commercials. They’re the same. Fox, MSNBC, CNN and for the most part CBS, NBC, and ABC.

By “all the same.”I mean the same advertisers. They break down into a few categories: drugs, medical products, drugs. Medicare supplement plans, drugs. Life Insurance and annuities, drugs, walk-in bathtubs, stair lifts and, oh yeah, drugs.

Every last one of them is depressing as hell. Most of them, I simply don’t understand.

Let’s start with a drug supplement that is supposed to help your brain think better. Why does it make your brain better? Well, they proudly tell you it’s because of an ingredient found … wait for it… in JELLYFISH!

Yes, jellyfish.

Because, you know, when I think of something that involves brains and intelligence, the first thing I think of is a jellyfish! Billion-year-old multi-cellular organisms who float in the ocean waiting for food to become entangled in their floaty dangling tentacle-like thingies. Also, they have no brain.

Then I got to thinking about it and maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe jellyfish are the most intelligent, intellectual philosophical thinkers on the planet. You know, like those advanced omnipotent species that show up on Star Trek.

I mean, what else do they have to do all day? They just float around.

JELLYFISH 1: I think, therefore, I am.

JELLYFISH 2: Free will is an illusion.

JELLYFISH 3: Hey! Some food just bumped into my tentacle thingies!

Next, reverse mortgages.

This is where if you own your house you can sell it back to the bank. They pay you a monthly payment until they buy your house back. Then you have no place to live. So, you’re betting you die before you become homeless. And older.

Is that a bet you want to win?

Then there are all the companies that want to buy your life insurance policy. The pitch goes something like this: “We needed more money for our retirement. We found out we could sell our life insurance policy. Now we are set for life.”

UNTIL ONE OF YOU DIES and the survivor has no life insurance to collect and live off of!!! Isn’t that the reason you bought life insurance??

Isn’t that what happens when the person holding the policy dies??

I guess you could room with the guy who just became homeless. Except, oh yeah, he doesn’t have a home.

Then there are the catheter commercials almost always being hawked by a guy who looks like a middle manager for an insurance company.

Actual catheter guy. And they all have the same mustache.

They all start out with the guy saying, “I don’t like pain when I cath.”

WHAT? Are there people out there who like pain when they cath? And when the hell did “cath” become a verb?? If you don’t know what a  catheter is, Google it. I’m not going to explain it.

Having said that, here’s a true story.

Back when I was a college freshman I worked as an orderly and an ER technician for a hospital. One of my jobs was catheterizing patients. I had only done the procedure on old guys who were unconscious or in a coma.

One day the head nurse gave me a cath kit and told me to do it to a 45-year-old wide-awake guy who was being prepped for surgery. I walked in the room and said I had to catheterize him. He asked me what that was. I explained it to him. When I finished there was a really long pause. All he said was, “You gotta be kidding me.”

It was at that point I realized that:

    1. I had never explained the procedure out loud to anyone before. And —
    2. He had a point. 

So I went back to the head nurse and said “Not doing this one. You’re on your own.”

Finally, drug commercials.

Lots and lots of drug commercials all of which are incredibly annoying because they take a beloved song from my youth and pervert it into shilling their drug. They all tell YOU to ask your doctor if whatever drug they’re selling is right for you.

Shouldn’t your doctor already know that? If he doesn’t, have you considered getting a new doctor?

Here’s the main take away from all drug commercials.


For God’s sake, listen to the list of side effects they describe in each of them.

        • Explosive diarrhea!
        • Sudden stroke!
        • Sudden death!
        • Rectal itch!

There’s actually a commercial for an anti-depression drug where one of the side effects is suicidal depression!

The drug side effects are worse than the disease you’re trying to treat. Except maybe for the one with rectal itch. I just don’t remember what disease it was treating.

So, to all you young folks out there. If you want to see where your life is going to end up, watch a cable news station for a day.

Me, I think I’m going to go back to watching the cartoon network.

Categories: intelligence, News, Tom Curley

Tags: , , , , ,

22 replies

  1. There used to be laws and/or ethical edicts that doctors and lawyers didn’t advertise, and pharmaceuticals were also not allowed to advertise. It always seems to me that if I’m sick enough to ask a doctor for help, I’m too sick to decide what meds would do the best job for me! I could make some pretty disastrous decisions if I followed the ads!


    • When makes me wonder the most is when they tell you to tell your doctor if you’ve had a heart replacement. You mean … your doctor doesn’t already know? Seriously? Anyway, anything they advertise on TV I can’t afford, so it’s a very moot point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, that’s another good thing about not watching much news. I miss all the ads. I am not sure if we have as many ads for drugs as you do apart from the over the counter stuff but we do get the funeral plans and insurance and yes I notice that they appear during certain shows more than others. I guess the young ones are all watching the news, if they watch it, on their smartphones or tablets and getting targeted advertising suited to their generation.


    • I’m not sure it’s true, but apparently that’s what the networks believe. I think a lot of people watch cable news, even if it’s just a background while they do other stuff. But advertisers are convinced old people only buy old people things. It’s kind of stupid.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is. Old people also buy clothes, holidays, tech devices and pretty much everything that younger people buy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am the resident news hound at this address. Like Tom, over 40 years in “the news biz” and guess I am an addict. So much I HATE about the news but I need to KNOW what’s going on and who’s saying what – even if it’s the same old bullsh_t. I need to KNOW.
          I yell and rant at the doofus in the Oval Office. I yell and rant at the Presidential wannabes who keep dumping on each other instead of rallying together as a team and supporting the person with the best chance of taking down the idiot in charge.I’m numbed by the daily violence and bloodshed I used to cover. It’s not better. It’s worse. I still need to know.
          My feelings are not shared here and I understand. You gotta have the news in your blood.

          Liked by 2 people

          • After so many years I can understand why you need to know. I do agree that if only the wannabe presidents would do so much better if they would stop fighting amongst themselves and work as a team. I know it is a pretty diverse group but they must surely have the same core values and the same goal, defeat Trump. A couple of them are young enough to have another go a few years down the track, even a couple of goes given that candidates are often 70 plus.


            • They do. But the Democrats have a long and tragic history of squabbling between themselves. I really hoped they wouldn’t do it this time. There’s SO much on the line … but they can’t help it. It’s part of their DNA.


              • The Labor Party here are very much the same. They had several years of stability under Bill Shorten but unfortunately he was not liked by the public and when they lost the election he stepped down as leader. Mind you the Libs were pretty good at backstabbing each other too. That’s why we’ve had three different Liberal PM’s during their term of government.


  3. OMG we are SO on the same wavelength here! I wonder how drug companies get away with pushing drugs that can or will kill you or give you the thing you’re supposed to be curing! This boggles the mind! Really!


  4. You got me on the jelly fish story Tom. I have a few cauterization stories of my own. Some very sad and some hilarious.


  5. We don’t have a TV, so it’s a novelty to watch if we visit anyone. The ads are the same as they were 13 years ago when we gave up the set. The woman is still taking wrongly delivered life insurance documents to her neighbour (delivery man or Insurance Co at fault for wrong address), funeral plans, gambling, bingo and lottery, chair stair lifts, loans and credit cards (interest rates over 1000% in some instances). Bring back the Instant Mash Men. They were interesting.


  6. OMG! You had me in stitches. You are spot on. Yet, like you, I am compelled to watch cable news. And, in case you haven’t noticed (Or perhaps it’s just my brand of non-cable provider), you can’t fast forward through the commercials on cable news…even if you tape it. Hmmm? Conspiracy?


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