It's worth repeating: Virtually everyone wants to be a video mogul -- especially these days, when we may believe we have enough inside information to make it happen.
That lone gunman in the Discovery Communications lobby had an idea about a reality TV show. Who doesn't? Apparently he had a bigger problem with rejection -- and other stuff.
Obsession with all things television can get out of hand. TV critics become giggling children in the face of some TV stars. They should be stopped. Vaudevillian comedian Jimmy Durante used to say, "Everybody wants to get into the act."
It's still true today. One network or TV show can't change the universe -- or most of our fortunes, despite the gunman's idea that the supposed over-population of the world was going to ruin everything.
We need entertainment -- not just education. So we are left with the most entertaining reality shows, which pitch us the best singers, models, promising business executives, chefs, designers, all-around dancers, celebrity ballroom dancers, hair stylists, house-buddies, island survivors, new sports journalists, weight-losers, rock bands, a cappella singing groups, bachelor-luring women, bachelorette-luring men, mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, sons, sisters, recovering drug addicts, and inventors -- ust to name a few.
Of course, we don't need traditional TV networks to become a star. We have YouTube. We have the entire Internet and social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and our own Web sites, to load up our crazy videos and other content.
But that's not enough. We want big fame to go with it -- and that takes scale and marketing. Even the average citizens know the score, all because television business stories flow more easily now into TV consumer stories.
Conan O'Brien out at NBC, with Jay Leno back in the late-night chair? More than a few average citizens have some info on that subject, and almost all have an opinion.
Closer to home, we all know why some cable networks are being threatened with removal from cable, satellite, or telco programming packagers. Someone wants more money, while someone else is outraged someone would ask for any increase. We still worry that ESPN, Hallmark, Versus or the Fur network will be left in the dust.
So TV programmers and distributors wind up trying harder to explain to consumers what goes on. It doesn't always work.