The State of Cable News

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Cable News, Uncategorized

When news consumers turn on their televisions, they have many channels to choose from to get their news. Today, people have the benefit of 24 hour news networks that provide information at all times. The decision on which channel to watch usually falls on the viewer’s personal opinions. Cognitive dissonance proves to be prominent in this decision. American people don’t want to hear from people they disagree with, since their feelings will overpower their best judgement. Talking heads such as Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly thrive on the public’s desire to hear and see news the way they feel and want to. In the New York Magazine article, “Chasing Fox” by Gabriel Sherman, the trials of MSNBC and CNN are broken down and dissected.

Fox News has been leading primetime hours due to its loyal followers that only want to hear about right-wing perspectives and the failings of the current presidency. MSNBC has chosen to do the same for the left-wing. Its only problem has been the many liberals that choose to get their news from outlets that rely on facts rather than outraged individuals yelling at the camera. CNN is a different issue, in which they can’t really figure out their stance on political viewpoints.

The main goal of CNN has been primarily to be objective, yet several programs have made this distinction confusing. This is a major problem in today’s televised news. Nobody wants to watch a straight and narrow program that lacks opinion. Too many Americans don’t want to know the truth. They would rather hear that they’re ideas are the right ideas. Since the advent of journalism in America the heart and soul of a journalist should be to seek and find the truth. When the viewership isn’t even looking for the facts, it doesn’t pay for the media to aim their cable programs at providing facts. Opinions rule the cable world, so unfortunately, networks need to either master the game or face elimination.

What bothers me is the fact that Fox has taken control of this current standing, yet they still try and insult the intelligence of viewers by claiming they are “fair and balanced.” These are two terms that Fox obviously doesn’t understand, because they are the exact opposite of this ideal. If they are going to prey on the conservatives in America at least call it like it is or eliminate the presence of a slogan all together.

I am aware it is quite obvious that I lean more towards the left, but I believe that both the left and the right have some truthful things to say. It just seems that the real “truth” is located somewhere in between the left and right perspectives. Some people on cable are so outrageous with their claims and others can be more realistic. Taking either as absolutely right would be short-sighted. Thankfully though, when a major story breaks that doesn’t require opinion or interpretation, there still is a CNN to tune in to for simply the facts.

  1. lew247 says:

    Good, thought-provoking post. Certainly Fox’s talking-heads and political mouthpieces are not ‘fair and balanced,’ but Fox News does not seem particularly unbalanced or egregious.

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