Wednesday, August 01, 2007

All the news that’s fit to…watch

There’s something very wrong going on here. Maybe it’s just because I’m an ex journalist myself, that I notice these things. But I think that’s not the case. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m late as all get out on this. I mean, I recognized it awhile ago, but it wasn’t until last week that I realized just how out of hand things have become.
Fox News is a joke. Everybody knows that, (except for the majority of the military which either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. They’re pretty much forced to watch Fox News, anybody surprised?) Fox News doesn’t report the news so much as pander to the whims of media god Rupert Murdoch. Ever seen Out Foxed? Good documentary, go check it out. I think even Fox News people know that they aren’t reporters, (“But we have the most watched news channel in America!” Bill “Shameless” O’Reilly can be heard screaming. Of course you do Bill, people watch for the entertainment factor, and to see just how far you’ll go to call opinion “news.”) I’m not even going to get into the motto of Fox News, because, by this point I think that even the people who work there are embarrassed by it. “Fair and Balanced,” eh? Man, the cognitive dissonance with that one must have put three quarters of the staff on serious medications to stay calm.
Because they don’t even bother to report anymore. They just sit (or stand, as the case may be) behind their desks, (pants optional) and spew out opinions. Informed or not, they are just opinions. And, if they don’t know enough about the topic at hand to give an opinion, why then they just bring in an “expert” kept on retainer by Fox. People whose opinions match up with Supreme Overlord Murdoch’s ideals.
But even they know that just sitting around and telling Americans what they should think or feel isn’t enough, so they bring on people with other opinions, just to ridicule them, belittle them and trounce on their ideas and beliefs. Shame really.
I always thought that CNN was safe. They knew what Fox was up to and decided to take the high road and report things they way they appear. Now, I’m no dummy. As a journalist in the Army for five years, I can tell you that everybody has an angle. And if it’s not the reporter who has an angle, you can be damn sure his boss or his boss’ boss does. The first thing I learned in military public affairs school is that “Nothing bad ever happens in the Army.” Yes, they came out and said that. Guess what that means? It means that I had to put a positive spin on each one of the (hundreds) of stories that I wrote. And if there was no positive spin, then there was no story. Let the civilian media cover the bad side and when they do we can just claim that they got it wrong and don’t know the full story. Ah, I miss the days of the Army.
No matter what people think, and what journalists throughout history have claimed, there is no such thing as objective journalism. Five people will tell the same story five different ways, remembering five different things and highlighting stuff that was important to them. And all five will be correct, but that doesn’t mean they’re all true, (of course you can get into the discussion of a Universal Truth and a Subjective Truth, but I haven’t smoked enough hash to get into that properly.)
Anyway, like I said. I thought CNN was cool. They were doing their own groovy thing and letting people decide for themselves what to watch. But then, a few weeks ago, after not watching the news channels for awhile, (I had just gotten in a huge shipment of Japanese porn. My t.v. viewing schedule was booked!) I decided to hit up all the news channels that I have. CNN, CNN Headlines, MSNBC and Fox News, (I guess I could have watched C-SPAN, but I’m not suicidal.) And I noticed that not a single one of those channels was actually broadcasting news. Prominently displayed on every channel was some talking head, telling people what they thought of the day’s news and interviewing guests doing the same. There was no news! Listen, I have my own opinions and I know the opinions of my friends and family. I don’t need to know what some pseudo-journalist thinks about Lindsay Lohan getting arrested. I don’t care if Wolf Blitzer pities Lindsay, and I certainly don’t understand why they are interviewing the person who painted the lines on the road where she was chasing down her ex-assistant’s mother. Which means that CNN has fallen into the same trap that makes Fox impossible to watch.
If I’m really worried about what people on t.v. think about things going on in the world, I’ll cut off my junx and watch The View. I want the news! Tell me the things that are important, not things you think I should know. It’s so frustrating to have to read eight different newspapers and watch all news channels just to get every side of the same story.
The people I really pity are those who get their news and information from political blogs. Those freaks do nothing but get their side (Conservatives, Liberals, blah, blah, blah) all riled up about something extremely pointless and in the end do nothing to change the situation. They prefer to just sit around and complain about each other. It’s funny because they act like the do-nothing congress that they love to shit on so much, (both sides shit on congress, but only I have actually taken a piss on the Capital Building. Beat that turkeys!)
I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, I’m not even registered to vote. I’m just a complainer. And guy who wants to know what’s going on in the world. Is that too much to ask?

No comments: