Anyone out there remember, way back in 1980, when CNN first appeared on that new fangled “Cable TV” thing?
I’m kind of a news junkie, and I was riveted. Wow! All the news of the world, broadcast all day, every single day! Holy informed public, this was going to be great! I remember turning on CNN at midnight and getting the latest news from Europe. I remember turning it on at 7 AM and getting the latest news from Los Angeles, and New York, and Moscow!
Amazing. Once CNN appeared, we suddenly had world news right at our fingertips. There were correspondents all over the globe and updates constantly. It was incredible. Nothing escaped our notice, nothing!!
So what the hell happened?
I wonder when CNN decided to be a one-story-at-a-time network? Have you noticed it, too?
Right now, you can turn on CNN at 8 AM, and get breathless moment-to-moment coverage of the George Zimmerman trial. Turn it on at 4, live coverage of the actual testimony. At 6, a wrap up of the day’s trial. 10 PM? A panel of “experts” talking about the trial or even an interview with one of the lawyers (seriously??!!)
But if you want to check in on any other trial, like, oh, say the Bradley Manning trial, forget about it. Nothing. Not a word, not a mention. Just because this is a huge national story that may actually change public policy, that doesn’t mean that we have to hear a word about it, at least as far as CNN is concerned.
News on the incredible unfolding events in Egypt, events that will no doubt impact the next 10 years in the highly volatile Middle East? Better go to AlJazeera. com, because you won’t find it on CNN.
Immigration reform? I don’t think so.
The economy? Ho, hum, how ’bout no?
The only time the so called “Best Political Team” on TV covers more than one story is when nature conspires to throw a hurricane or a snow storm on the same day as the latest sleazy trial. Then “The Best News on Television” gives itself whiplash trying to pivot from all day every minute live coverage of the woman who massacred her boyfriend to the people boarding up their windows. Yeesh.
I guess its not such a big deal nowadays, though. People like me who really want to find out about something beyond this week’s one story can just go online and research. I can read the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, even the London Times. I can go to websites like Politico, Slate, the good old HuffPo. I can check the AP Wire, the BBC newsfeed and about ten million blogs. It’s cool.
Its just that if we want to know about the world now, we have to work really hard to get the information. And we have to accept the fact that the lovely people over at the NSA will notice that we’re back on AlJazeera again, and they’re putting a little check mark next to our name.
I liked it better when I could just turn on Bernie Shaw and hear the latest.
Oops, gotta go. “BREAKING NEWS”, the prosecutor has wrapped up his final arguments.
15 thoughts on “I remember when”
Ah, the good old days, before it was all about the soundbite and who screamed louder…
It’s probably cheap to make. Real journalism is complicated and expensive.
Have you tried BBC World Service? http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldserviceradio
Yep, I am on there every day. Still………
Not only do they do no real reporting, but CNN screws it up when they try to. Remember when they sent out a Breaking News Alert! about the Supreme Court verdict on Obamacare and got it wrong? Just a few days ago, CNN reported in a Breaking News Alert! that there were 60 people unaccounted for in the Asiana plane crash. Ummmmm, wrong again, CNN. I think they should change the voice over from James Earl Jones to Alan Funt.
They respond to ratings. If people don’t watch, they won’t cover these trials so compulsively. I’ve been pleased that Rachel Maddow has been a Zimmerman-free zone.
I dont know. I am not entirely sure that the people create the demand. I think that the CNN bigshots create the show.
But their whole deal has been turning around CNN’s dismal ratings and giving people what they seem to want. If they did wall-to-wall coverage and ratings dropped precipitously, they’d end that coverage right away.
Bread and circuses.
Yes I feel it too! I watch CNN with my dog in the morning while having breakfast. It’s been very stormy for the last few days so I leave the TV on for him while I am away. I come back and ask him “what did you learn today?”.. then I look at the TV.. it’s still always playing the same topic from the morning !! My poor Kahlua (I bet he changes the channel when I’m gone and changes it back before I return)
Maybe he watched “The Dog Whisperer”, which is far, far more informative than CNN!
I’m kind of partial to NPR ; )
Thank GOODNESS for NPR, and also for the SiriusXM station “POTUS”.
So true and a little frustrating – even HLN seems to stop the presses and report live on any major courtroom action. We have the internet for news now, fortunately.
If only CNN would be a bit less self-congratulatory!