A couple of years ago, I stopped watching local news. It was all either fluff or promo segments for their network’s reality shows.
Wanting “real news,” I switched to CNN.
What I’m getting now, from CNN and all the other network news is: a few “anchors” or whatever they call them now, just sitting around and endlessly shooting the breeze about Hillary and Obama or - *with equal importance - *Britney and Paris, without any real content whatsoever. These people all go by their first names, and act like they have some sort of “celebrity” status. And I’m supposed to be flattered that I’m privy to their conversations, like I’m one of their pals.
In my own lifetime, we have devolved from Walter Cronkite to Chatty Cathy.
The only saving grace is that an hour of news is now mostly commercials anyway … at least some of them have content!
So if I want to know what’s going on in the world, the first thing I do is turn off the tv.
News has proven that in order to understand and give the crucial inside story ,it is important to be a very pretty woman. For most of our history America thought pretty women were generally not too bright. But now we know that to really understand and to get to the underbelly of the world events and gather and write the stories ,the beautiful women are the best equipped.
They are not news readers. They are reporters.
During the live radar tornado coverage last night, the guy kept side tracking into how the program for the radar works and stuff like that. The other guy that has been there a long time, but is not the emergency weather announcer, had to keep putting him back on track. Oh thats gotten worse, the radar program picks blah blah blah. OK dumb ass where is the worse condition occurring with the tornadoes? Point out the current location, and stop talking about irrelevant stuff. Lives hang in the balance, keep reporting the weather.
Even NPR has its fluffiness. They simply swap out the Britney and Paris stuff for people playing “Stop in the Name of Love” with truck air horns and interviews with avante-gard artists who you’ve never heard of and never will hear from again. I like their fluff a lot better than CNN fluff, but let’s not pretend “All Things Considered” is serious all the time. Sometimes their “lighter” stories are plain ridiculous.
The problem facing all of the news sources is that they have too much time to fill. If you’re talking to someone all day long, you’re bound to mention trivial topics. Walter Conkrite had, what? Fifteen to thirty minutes to fill? I suppose in this day and age you’d expect to fill an hour long program with nothing but serious news, but that’s not how entertainment works. People want to cry AND laugh.
Fair enough monstro, but on the rarer occasions that I brush against network news, I feel that I’m undergoing a lobotomy. Even the format makes my skin crawl.
Here’s one example. I happen to oppose the 2nd amendment, but check out this CBS news segment, Police Outgunned. It’s all anecdote and sensationalism. The topic has some seriousness to it; but the treatment doesn’t provide the viewer with sufficient information to make any kind of valid policy conclusion. It’s all emotive: the world is a scary place.
But we already knew that, didn’t we?
I actually think NPR has slid a bit lately, and they have always had non-serious stories. I find myself clicking it off more than I used to. But FWIW I don’t recall hearing reports that were wholly worthless or toxic, though I would accept the label, “NPR fluff”.
Other news sources: New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic Magazine, NY Review of Books.
Blogs: Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Calculated Risk, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman.
BB: Slashdot. SDMB. Unaboard.
Oh, I agree. But they don’t have me cringing at the report within 5 minutes of attending to it, like every other freakin’ local and national news show I encounter on TV or radio. AND I get to listen to the BBC on NPR too!
Nowadays I get my news from Google, and from the print magazine The Week. The latter is a leftover desire to sit down once a week with a news magazine and catch up on everything. Time or Newsweek used to serve that purpose, but now they just serve as advertising shills for their respective corporate masters.
If you think the news was any better back then, you’re nuts. It was just presented in a more ‘adult’ package. How many people thought Vietnam was winnable? How many people thought large-scale atmospheric nuclear weapons testing was A-OK? How many people voted for Johnson?
Worse, of course, was the fact people really believed the news back then. Cronkite and Huntley and all of that mob had credibility pouring out of every orifice in the public mind. What the network bosses cleared for publication became something akin to the Word of God because their nicotine rasps and coifs presented it nationwide that evening after dinner. It’s better to have bums you know are bums.
I hear ya! Cable news is awful. It certainly isn’t objective information. The news has become homogenized. I don’t consider CNN’s Lou Dobbs to be any better than Fox’s Bill O’Reilly et al., or MSNBC’s Scarborough, Buchanan and Mathews. The sad reality is a news source like Fox, which I think most people on this board will agree is propaganda, is given the same respect by the political establishment as any other news source, lending to its perceived credibility.
Katie Couric commanded something like 17 million a year to anchor the news – not bad. I would consider news anchors packaged celebrities not dedicated journalists. Journalism is a dying discipline in the U.S. I swear these news outlets would put Hitler on the air, without apology, if he got ratings.