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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Yail Bloor » TV » Cable News

I am a cable news junkie. There is no easy way around it. While most normal people watch sitcoms, reality shows, sports, movies or whatever it is that people watch, I--if left to my own devices, am completely content to sit in for two or three hours of half witted hosts, barely literate "experts" and [no adjectives necessary] politicians, all jabbering at each other like the toothless denizens of a crystal meth convention. It probably says something about me, but I can get enough.

The main problem is that I like The News, and aside from the network news, there is no such thing as news anymore which is kinda funny and ironic: we now have all of these cable news outlets but very little actual news. Now our news is delivered with an endless side helping of commentary or not at all because these news genius' occasionally abandon the news altogether in favor of documentaries. To wit: Last Sunday night at 11:00 PM EST I just wanted to know what was going on in the world and was faced with this lineup:

CNN: CNN Presents (a North Korea documentary)
CNN Headline News (Nancy Grace or Glenn Beck)
Fox News (Oliver North's War Stories)
MSNBC - Lockup (those "inside a prison" documentaries)

NO NEWS! What the hell happened to CNN Headline News? I remember when you could know what was on Headline News just by looking at a clock. And now they have mussed up the works trying to compete with the others when they should be doing what they were chartered to do. Here's a suggestion: Your ratings couldn't be any worse if you just showed the news on a loop again; even the loneliest guy in prison can't stand to look at Nancy Grace, and while Fox has done well with a radio talker in Sean Hannity, at least he delivers something even if that something is ghoulsh and frightening. CNN's cheap imitation of the Hannity/O'Reilly juggernaut is Glen Beck and it feels like what it is: cheap.

Dammit. I really wanted to devote this to the new primetime lineup at MSNBC and why I hate it, but I guess I'll have to save it for next time.


Blogger Elvis Fu said...

Being a newspaper man, I've always found a cheapness throughout television news & commentary. The whole television corporate ladder strips damn near every talking head of their dignity and credibility before they even hit mid-major success.

Bill O'Reilly was on "Inside Edition". One of those goons from "Fox & Friends" used to be the ringside reporter for UFC in the early days. It would be akin to Woodward & Bernstein starting out interviewing H.O.R.D.E. acts for "High Times". This sort of do-anything-for-fame attitude leaves me wanting when it comes to television news.

All that aside, however, what are your top three news/commentary programs on cable television?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Yail Bloor said...

Current top 3 cable news programs:

1. Hardball(MSNBC): whoever books for Mathews should get an Emmy because despite being somewhat engaging and talented, this show is completely driven by the quality of the guests.

2.Countdown with Keith Olberman (MSNBC): Stupid people think that stuff like The Daily Show is the future of news, but in all honesty its probably closer to this show. They seem to make a really strong effort to report the real news of the day with seriousness (and Keith's smarminess) and mix it with the sort of things that used to be shown on "Real People". Definitely a liberal bend but I've noticed that MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" reports almost the exact same stories.

3. Lou Dobbs Tonight (CNN) A pretty solid evening news program that used to be heavy on the financial news stories, but is now almost comically top heavy with Dobbs' fanatical hatred of outsourcing and immigrants/immigration which provokes the host's occasional on-air freak outs.

4:17 AM  

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