ATLANTA - Have you ever watched a promo for an upcoming TV news story that makes you want to watch because it sounds so silly? In this case, the so-called story had everything: a secret government conspiracy about spraying people with chemicals in plain sight. The only things not mentioned by the TV station were UFO's.
The Atlanta CBS affiliate decided it was time to report that all those white condensation trails, contrails, made by high-flying airplanes are actually chem-trails which spray us with some unknown liquid.
I saw the promo the other evening and had to watch to see how the station would treat a story that sounded like it was a desperate attempt to attract viewers. It seemed all made up to hype a news show in need of serious hyping.
Why did this happen? This is one of the sweeps months, when TV stations' viewers are counted until March 2. It's big money and big problems if there aren't big numbers in the audience. The price advertisers pay for commercials is based on the sweeps results measuring audience size.
What was the story? With straight faces, the news anchor and a reporter said some conspiracy theorists think airplanes and the white contrails they leave in the higher altitudes are really part of a plot involving devious experiments to change the atmosphere and possibly do other sinister things.
Personally, I think Martians are involved.
Condensation trails are formed when hot exhaust from the aircraft engines hits the cold air and we see the results. But, those who think this chem-trail conspiracy makes sense say this isn't the same thing that happens when you see your warm breath on a cold day. They claim these are chemicals being sprayed for various reasons. It's those sneaky government people again. I'm guessing this might have started as a joke then was taken seriously.
The Atlanta TV station promoted the story for its late news show. This station seems to be in the quandary of whether to stick to real news or go the National Enquirer route and report on tabloid stuff and nonsense.
This is a big chance to fasten on to this atmospheric phenomenon as a huge and dastardly scheme to do bad things to everybody. The bad thing here is fooling people into thinking a natural event is suspicious. It's a wonder the proponents of this government conspiracy haven't talked with the FBI or EPA or some other alphabet agency. Come to think about it, maybe they have.
Something like this comes into popular myth then gets credibility by a TV station in search of a news audience. It says its reporter investigated and there you have it: a full-blown story that's another version of an urban myth.
The announcement invited us to watch the upcoming news and it showed video of airplane contrails over the city. I couldn't believe it. I first thought this must be some kind a joke. But, no, the announcer was serious and said all would be revealed to the TV audience during the late news. This sounded like the most surpassingly silly thing I'd ever seen promoted as a TV news item.
If we wait long enough, we'll find out the National Enquirer is actually written by aliens who commute here from somewhere else by flying saucer.