CNN Headline News Ain't What It Used To Be (And Others)

I used to like Headline News. At any hour of the day, I could flip over and get a brief overview the latest happenings in the world. If I wanted in-depth analysis, I’d watch the main CNN channel (well, actually PBS, but you get my drift.) I* liked* that I could get a quick summary. I’d check the news two or three times a day this way, then if I wanted more info, I’d go to other sources.

Now, it’s a rarity to turn to Headline News and see any news. Every time I flip over, there’s a talking head venting their spleen about celebrities, or muder trials, or the Controversy Of The Day. In vain, I surfed through the half-dozen or so news channels this evening, and not one had on news. Every channel featured their own version of “The Opinions of Talking Head #654.”

They’re going MTV on us.

I used to like the Weather Channel. At any hour of the day, I could switch over and see weather maps of the whole country. On occasion, I’d see the weather for Europe or Asia, which was just neat for curiosity’s sake. I could also know if I was travelling what the weather was going to be like at my destination.

Now, it’s a rarity to turn to The Weather Channel and see any weather. Sure, they still have “Local on the 8’s”, which I appreciate, but the lion’s share of their programing time is devoted to “The Day My House Blew Down” or “What Happened to the Poor Fuckers Who Lived in A Town Which Flooded.” When Weather Attacks!

I used to like HBO. I couldn’t switch over at any hour and watch a movie because the evenings are devoted to soft-core porn, but you catch my drift. With five or so HBOs to choose from, I could usually find a movie to watch if I was so inclined. Now, like as not, it will be one of their series shows. Hey, I like Deadwood and Rome. I really do. But it’d be nice if, say, they had those shows on their own seperate channel or only did one series at a time. They’ve got, like, a dozen of them now. I anticipate that one day, they stop running movies all together on their main channel. They’re not that far from it now.

In keeping with this trend, you can imagine I wasn’t too thrilled to see that The Cartoon Channel was running Saved By The Bell and Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

Hey, the other day I was watching my copy of Trinity and Beyond…which I taped when TLC ran it in a marathon.

Hell, it used to be “The Learning Channel,” and they’d run Great Books and The Secret Life of Machines in the morning.

These days…Tim Hunkin or boosted-fission bombs? Nope! Home remodeling for amateurs!


Like I said a few weeks ago, CNN - although it’s not just CNN - is turning into the Howard Beale network.