Sunday, October 04, 2009

You know, this is all Ted Turner's fault.

He created the 24 hour a day news channel, CNN. Many people laughed at the concept when it was first introduced. I remember being skeptical. But look what has happened since then. At least, what, five all news channels (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg), plus their spin-off such as Headline News and Fox Business Channel. Each is on a 24/7 news cycle, and the Beast must be fed. You must have content to fill up something like that, and they all must turn a profit. That's where you start playing to an audience to get the viewers, which brings in the $$$. News programs are now not really there to inform; they are there to entertain, to put notches in the belt of viewer demographic numbers, to be a steady income stream to their home corporations. This gives us Glenn Beck, Shaun Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Keith Olbermann, etc. etc. (I refuse to lump Rachel Maddow in there, because I think her program, although really slanted in the liberal direction, is there to inform and not just to inflame passions.) This process has turned our political process into one big carnival, including clowns and sideshow barkers. Informing the electorate of important issues is really not even on the radar screen anymore.

Thanks a whole goddam lot, Ted Turner. You should have stopped at colorizing movies.

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