By John J. Cox
A Resident of Woodside
Here are some of the most widely and frequently viewed news clips of all time: President Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 inaugural address in which he states that "all we have to fear is fear itself;" the 1937 explosion of the airship Hindenburg; FDR's December 1941 "day of infamy" speech; a sailor planting a kiss on a young woman in Times Square the day World War 2 ended; General MacArthur's "old soldier" address to Congress; Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech; Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office aboard Air Force One after the assassination of President Kennedy; Jack Ruby's shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald; Neil Armstrong's "One Small Step For Man" statement upon setting foot on the moon; Richard Nixon's tearful wave of goodbye before boarding the Presidential helicopter after his resignation; the assassination attempt on President Reagan; President George W. Bush's attendance at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Perhaps the most famous, or infamous, of all is the Zapruder film, which recorded the actual murder of President Kennedy.
But now, thanks to all the local news outlets, cable and otherwise, there is another news clip that surely ranks as among the most frequently viewed. In fact, it continues to be replayed ad nauseam day after day after day. You cannot escape it, because every news station in New York insists on playing it every time the television set is turned to the news. Decades from now when historians review the events of our time the verdict will doubtless be that this single clip was shown more often than any other.
And I bet you know what it is.
That's right. It's the one showing a buffoonish sort of older gentleman walking along a city street and suddenly being shoved by a news photographer. I call it "The Bernie Madoff Shove" in the same vein as the Rolling Stones' "The Harlem Shuffle."
Now I realize that Madoff is a scoundrel, and I have no sympathy for him. Personally I don't care how many times he is shoved. He has victimized so many with his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. But why must the rest of us be victimized by the endless running of this news clip. Every time a news station begins a report on the latest Madoff news it opens with the "Madoff Shove." And in the course of the report it will replay the shove two or three more times. Try switching to another news program and all you get is more of the same. "Geez," I say to myself, "haven't they any other footage of this guy?"
It's gotten so bad that every time a Madoff story comes on the tube I turn my head and close my eyes. I can't stand it any longer. And even after I open my eyes they still manage to slip in another clip. There's no escaping it.
But there may soon be some relief. It's being reported that Madoff has struck a deal with prosecutors and may soon be off to prison. Good riddance.
Then we can turn our attention to the next big story of our times: What's next for Alex Rodriguez?