Thursday, February 21, 2008

CNN, Fox News, MSNBC all on a slippery slope

I don't know about you, my reader, but I am about "politicked out" from watching daily news reports on Headline News, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

With everything that is going on around the world, we are being fed a constant barrage of political garbage about the presidential primaries.

One candidate hiccups, you hear about it from every source, every angle, for hours and hours. Each of the commentators take his/her turn to offer his/her view of the hiccup. Was the hiccup deliberate? Was it to make fun of the other candidate? Is the candidate getting ill? Blah blah blah and blah blah blah.

Oh, then they take a quick break for "other" news and give you a brief rundown of other things happening in the world. A few moments to tell us stocks have tanked, an embassy is attacked, etc. etc.

Here's the problem. These "news" channels are promoting themselves as "news" channels. Yet, they act like the radio pundits. It's like hearing the skewed view of someone like Rush Limbaugh and other similar personalities. It is mostly hype. But, more importantly and very seriously, it is mostly opinions, not news, they are reporting. Every commentator offers an opinion. Some think they are funny. Some think they are cute.

They are not reporters. They are mostly stupid. We don't even know how they qualify to be the expert on the politics of the time. Few times are we given the source of their information to corroborate it. Keith Olberman of MSNBC, for example, was a sports commentator, for crying out loud. We in the news business know that sports writers and commentators are granted a loose license to play with the facts and opinions, because it is sports. Not news. Olberman thinks he is witty. So give him a comedy show. Don't make him look like a trusted news reporter, because he is not.

You don't do that with news. Why are they throwing opinions out to the voters who have yet to vote? They are supposed to report a candidate's stance, background, and activity, not the odds of who is going to win. That's like sports commentators telling the basketball players, while they are still playing, what they will probably do and whether they will win or fail. You don't do that.

But we allow them to mess with it on the news side, the most serious side of all.

Much of the opinions expressed are included in very deep background information which is useful to those people deeply involved in campaigns, not to the general public.

I would have to believe that the viewers watching this garbage have got to be getting really bored, when we in the news business already are.

The "news" channels have created a circus out of what should have been the most serious institutions of our democracy. They are not producing freedom of speech. They are skewing it. And we all know these channels, as is with all media channels, money is the bottom line of business, and those opinions will be skewed to whoever controls their income.

None of these commentators is a valid reporter. Even Anderson Cooper, who I had a lot of respect for when he was in the field, has succumbed to the circus atmosphere and no longer trustworthy. They are commentators ... opinion creators ... prejudiced and biased by their own skewed view, and should not being reporting to you or me on the premise this is all legitimate news. If they want to offer opinions, fine. But label it and balance it with legitimate news reports.

Hopefully, most people of this land will soon see them for what they are. I am sure, however, that the presidential vote this time around has already been tainted by they choices of reports made by the media executives. There is a lot of power of information placed in the hands of just a very few of the media companies. You, my dear reader, have no say except to refuse to watch it and force their numbers down and have to alter their methods of reporting to regain a valid audience.

For me, I'm done watching these "news" channels as regularly as I have. Of course, I seldom watch Fox News because of their biased "fair and balanced" reporting, I won't shun them altogether, but I don't need the constant barrage of misinformation they spew constantly trying to convince me which way to vote --- which they claim they are not, but it is obvious they are.

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