Driving to Manhattan this morning, I had the radio softly tuned to New York 1010 News when John Montone came on. He's the on-the-street reporter for the station which reportedly attracts three million listeners a week. When I first came to America in the 1970s, 1010 was always on the radio in the mornings at my aunt's apartment where I was staying. I don't think Montone reported back then ; he came later. I've listened to them for that long a time. Anyway, Montone's pieces are meant to break the monotony of hard news with his human interest stories and probing questions for amiable pedestrians.
Well, this morning, he featured some cast members of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. They're in town again, doing New Jersey and Manhattan. I have not attended the planned demos at the IZOD Center ( Meadowlands) and the Prudential Center ( Newark ) for this early part of the year, but they are held several times a year. Invitations to the demos is how I learn that the circus is in town. Frankly, I am so against the circus that even the mention of the word gets my dander up. Today's report did not even mention the animals ( How great they are, and all must come to see them! ) but how long the circus train is. Maybe Montone avoided the issue intentionally since the maltreatment of circus animals is pretty well-known nowadays. Nevertheless, it was the usual " the circus is in town " ballyhoo.
The coming of the circus is not something to celebrate, not until the animals are liberated from their captivity and forced labor. I wish that Montone and 1010 News would just stay mum whenever this train of tears rolls into town. News stations, both television and radio, seem compelled to report the coming of the circus, like there are no other meaningful news events to take up the air time. If they want to soften up their news reporting with some human interest story, then so be it. But don't settle for an INHUMANE interest story like Ringling. I like Montone's reporting, and I pray that he would instead report the circus' departure from the city, not its coming.