I sit here writing this in silence. No CNN as my ambiance. For the past six months I worked in television news, surrounded by televisions. Yes - "s" - there were three TVs all for me when I worked in New York over the summer. Sometimes I would only listen to one of them, but most of the time, I was multi-watching. From Dr. Phil to Wolf Blitzer, noise was the new silence. Then, I moved to London to study at the London School of Economics for the year, and the TVs did not board with me. Nope, London stole my television.
I was not that worried, since I still had red envelopes from Netflix which I brought with me. At least I would have my movie fix. From my flat, I called Netflix in America to change my address. I must have asked, "are you serious?" at least five times to the poor operator who continued to tell me they do not ship DVDs outside the United States, unless I was on a military base. I was now stuck in dead silence, but craved that noise.
It started when the Fox Business Channel premiered and I could not watch. Then a friend e-mailed, informing me that his student run television show at USC was going to be on ABC and I should watch. Ha! I could barely view the BBC, nevertheless ABC Sports. And the straw that broke the camel's back? A Wednesday without Gossip Girl.
So, doing what any 20-year-old would do, I turned to the Internet, my iPod and YouTube. In my past life, with televisions running all day, I did not need to be plugged into my iPod as I walked home. But now, if I am not going to get my television fix via the tube (and I don't mean that thing underground), I am getting it the new media/cool way. It's not that I am such a huge television addict. I actually obtain a good portion of my news from the Web, newspapers and magazines. But some news and entertainment is best viewed in motion. To name a recent few: Matt asking about homosexuality, Colbert announcing he will announce before he announces (reading about this one does not give it justice), and Howard Kurtz on, well, Howard Kurtz.
So, off I went to the Internet. MSNBC.com's video filled me in on Senator Larry Craig's interview. I watched my friend's national television debut here, on YouTube. I even viewed things I would normally never see had the televisions been blasting, such as Anderson Cooper on Sesame Street (from Gawker). But, the most useful source for television was right here. Not trying to suck up or anything, but Eat The Press and Huffington Post have been extremely helpful. From just Rachel Sklar's posts I watched the full Colbert announcing mishegas, the Kurtz v. Kurtz showdown, and got my opening day Fox Biz recap.
On the iPod front, my podcasts have quadrupled since I was in America, especially in the video department. I now watch the entire NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News broadcasts, free from iTunes. For me, if it is Monday it is Meet the Press and the audio version of 60 Minutes. As I brush my teeth, Judy DeAngelis's 1010 Wins morning podcast satisfies my New York radio fix. And even though I am in London, the Quest on Quest podcast allows me to follow CNN International's Richard Quest on his wild adventures. Without 600+ channels, I have been able to catch up on shows I missed back home. I downloaded ABC's free podcast version of i-Caught and other television shows I probably would not have watched had I not stumbled upon it on iTunes.
And as for Gossip Girl? $39.99 will buy you the season from iTunes. But, seeing what happens between Serena van der Woodsen and Dan Humphrey is priceless.
Follow Eric Kuhn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kuhn