Wednesday, February 11, 2015

TV News

Whens the last time you felt you were more informed about the world after watching CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox nightly news broadcast?  I'm not sure if Fox stations have their own news program on not.  Or have you felt more as though you spent thirty minutes viewing an upgraded "Inside Edition?"

Okay, they're not what they once were.  The news shows compete for audience and ad revenue just like every other show on their networks.  It really shows.  Perhaps paying news readers less--is Brian Williams really worth $10 million a year--and hire reporters.  I'm sure there are people who will read and report for a lot less than the current salaries. Oops, paying the rich less might catch on and we cannot have that now can we.

If the networks fail at news, we still have cable don't we?  Well, FOX concentrates on one message,  "Obama sucks."  MSNBC exists to retort "no he doesn't, bite me."  Will you miss Jon Stewart?   At least he pointed out the increasing failure of cable news.  Oh, god, that means CNN just precedes FOX and MSNBC alphabetically.  CNN tries, but they've decided to pursue shareholder value over the news.

As a result, CNN will present news unless there is a tabloid story that can 95% of every coverage hour.  Hey, five minutes of news is not bad, but 55 minutes of coverage on the latest plane that plopped into the ocean, massive snowstorm in Boston, or as was yesterday the aid worker to be confirmed dead somewhere in the Middle morass.

For example, after watched the BBC news (I recorded it on my DVR). I switched to CNN, thinking there might be some national news of interest.  I caught about two minutes of news then CNN went into full bore Kayla Meuller is dead coverage.  I switched over to Al Jazeera America.  For the hell of it, every time a story in Al Jazeera ended I switched back to CNN.  Yep, still covering Kayla.  Oh, Al Jazeera did inform us of Ms. Mueller's death--it was summed up in about a minute and a half.

This morning, I thought CNN would do news.  About 9:00 I finished the BBC recording, tuned to CNN, as Carol Costello was reading her copy to us.  It sounded as thought a full hour of news was forthcoming.  Then she said something like, 'but, first."  And they were off into intense coverage of Brian Williams.  I went to Al Jazeera.

I do wish Dish provided the British BBC channel, I assume it's mostly news.  Al Jazeera hasn't quite settled in, they blew their American morning shows--I think they tried to copy the crap on CNN, FOX, MSNBC and the network happy, happy morning shows.  Al Jazeera is better than the American shows, but not quite as good as the BBC (maybe I have a bias, not sure).

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