What Happened to Real News?

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I watch MSNBC because they provide information and commentary that I tend to agree with, although, I most certainly do not agree with everything that everyone says. Since MSNBC is airing the Olympics right now, I am unable to watch my usual evening shows. I, very reluctantly, changed the channel to Fox News.

The show was The Five where five people sit around talking. Listening to them talk, I got the impression that, if we let them rule the world, everything would be peachy. The show opened with a very patriotic tune playing while slowly panning back over Rockefeller Center. I half expected to see an image of Governor Sarah Palin looking down over us, protecting us all.

I am not naive to the fact that MSNBC is left leaning but, unlike the talking heads on The Five, I haven’t witnessed any MSNBC commentators calling the president derogatory names and make arguments that are totally unfounded in truth. These people are so hard headed and stubborn that they won’t even allow a guest on the show, another conservative mind you, to express a view even remotely different than their own. No! Your opinion is wrong! It brought back childhood memories of my father telling me that my opinion was wrong. Come to think of it, he still does that.

Then, the commentators on The Five, decide it would be a good use of their hour on television to spend a segment analyzing the different faces the alleged gunman of the Aurora, Colorado shooting made while in court. He was in court for over two hours! Do you really expect him to be alert the entire time?

“They have him on drugs, I just know it. You can tell by looking at him.” First of all, who is “they?” Second, no, actually, I don’t know that “they” have him on drugs. Maybe, the camera caught him while he was blinking and so it looks like he’s drugged because all the images you are showing are stills. No, what was I thinking, that’s not a logical explanation.

Allow me to arrive at the point: THAT’S NOT NEWS! That’s a coffeehouse rumor mill. News is the Israeli and Palestinian meetings. News is the LIBOR scandal. News is the debate on tax cuts and tax rates. Give me news; not gossip and rumors. Give me Cronkite and Murrow. I get this is where the money is but it’s a sad state of affairs when viewers of The Daily Show are more informed than viewers of Fox News. In fact, according to the report cited, viewers of Fox News are less informed than people who don’t watch any news at all.

The actions of the cable news networks and the talking heads creates an uninformed and ignorant citizenry. And that, friends, is what I would like to change.

Be sure to check out the State of the News Media and its look at cable news networks. It’s a long read but an incredibly enlightening read.