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Some say we're in a golden age of television these days. Once considered a lesser medium than film, screenwriters and directors have taken to producing riveting, deeply nuanced works of storytelling that become appointment viewing for legions of devoted fans.

Then there are channels that are meant to exist in a limbo-like state of half-watchedness, providing atmosphere for your waiting rooms, airport lounges, elevators and lobbies. Much of the time, they're going to be seen on mute, and you'll have no idea what the people on it are saying.

If you're like me, you might find yourself attempting to suss out cues - from facial expressions and body language, from their manner of dress, from anything you can - and build out a hypothetical story. Maybe it's real! Maybe it's not! Here, as you sit watching this muted talking head, waiting for Delta to find a crew for your delayed flight, though, it becomes your truth.

Take, for instance, this screenshot from CNBC this morning. What's this guy talking about?

  • The impact of dropping oil prices on the US economy
  • The February jobs report and its potential impact on the presidential race
  • Advocare. This dude's just selling Advocare on morning TV.
  • The Super Bowl, and the clash between universally-beloved Auburn quarterback Cam Newton vs. a hobbled journeyman ex-Volunteer
  • The fabulous new concessions offerings at Major League Baseball parks this spring, such as, I dunno, like a hoagie bun filled with sushi or a miniature helmet full of sriracha, and did you know he's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism
  • He just wandered in off the street in, ended up in front of a camera and now he's talking about how a goat stole his idea for Tinder. No one's noticed, because the producers are all gathered in the break room for cake for Cathy's birthday. No one really likes Cathy, but hell, it's Friday, free cake, I'm it'll be fine if we leave the studio unattended for ten minutes
  • the Noles