So there I am, having my afternoon cuppa with the second half of Dr Phil, when a plane crashes into the Hudson river.

Instantly, America’s best swing into action. Hundreds of dedicated, highly trained operatives race to the scene by chopper, SUV or even on foot, prepared to do anything they can… to get the story. Yes, that’s right. Because in an emergency, America does what it does best: it goes to rolling news.

Every channel on TV instantly started talking nonsense. First, they’re telling us it might be a film set. Really, people? Really? On what planet could Hollywood crash a life-size plane into a major city’s waterway?

Then we get a succession of breathless reporters phoning in their lack of information (“the plane has now sunk completely into the water,” blathered one, when in fact it was just behind a boat). Meanwhile, back in the studio, the anchors were giving us insight we couldn’t possibly have worked out for ourselves (“it’s got to be cold in that water, I hope they haven’t got too wet”).

Obviously I was gripped.

But already, they’ve moved on to more serious matters. This morning, Len Goodman is on breakfast TV judging past presidents’ Inauguration dance performances. Bush Snr gets a 7 (“lacks content”), while Bill Clinton is “far too loose in the upper body”. And some might say the lower.

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