Monday, April 05, 2010

What's Old Is News

I've mentioned on more than one occasion that the reason CNN's getting its ass whipped in prime time by both Fox and MSNBC these days should be, ironically, a source of pride for the network.

Basically, because CNN hasn't gone full-tilt opinion, the specific audience that a single over-arching viewpoint would pander to doesn't watch from sunup to sunset. When Fox calls its viewers "fans," it isn't kidding: If you love the right-wing slant the network puts on pretty much every story, then there's really only one place to get it. CNN doesn't inspire that kind of devotion because it's just doing plain, old news.

And while that's commendable, it's also boring as hell most days.

Mark Greenbaum elaborates over at the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post: CNN's Rapid Decline and the Future of Cable News/4.2.10


PhilDS said...

My only experience with CNN is CNN International and I must say it compares really well with BBC World or Al Jazeera (the English version)

It is a bit too War on Terror focused to my taste, but the reporting is well done.

Maybe they should give up on being an American channel and focus on the rest of the world.

Chez said...

Oh, I think CNNi is outstanding. Overall a far better product than CNN domestic. I also have a very good friend -- a guy I used to work closely with -- who moved recently from US to international and loves his new assignment.

TheReaperD said...

Reading the article you cited, what I was most struck and saddened by was the theme that trying to be objective was a serious character flaw for any news organization. Though the writer tried to backpedal and as say what matters is how it is reported but, their main point was perfectly clear.

Though such themes have always been around in reporting our blatant displays of tribalism, such as sports, the was an attempt to keep them out of items that could affect our daily lives. Edward Murrow or Walter Cronkite would likely have committed career seppuku rather than work for the likes of Fox or MSNBC. What's makes this truly sad and horrifying about all of this is that, according to the ratings, this is what the majority of Americans (and British) *want*.

I was trying to be optimistic but, I can't anymore. What we're witnessing is the end of civilized discourse in this country and the rise of ideologues, who are blindly followed, willing to force their point of view on the country. Though such ideologues have always existed, what is happening now is that the majority of Americans are getting caught up in the war of ideology. History teaches us what such wars lead events that include the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust. Though most Americans are not interested in history, either.

I do fear where this will lead. Though I hold out hope that we come to our collective senses before we reach such an event. I wonder if this is what Hunter Thompson was alluding to in his suicide note?

Alanna said...

ReaperD - great points + your last sentence gave me chills - I have often wondered the same.

Al said...

CNN doesn't inspire that kind of devotion because it's just doing plain, old news.

This was a joke, right? Only if by "news" you mean the utterly irrelevant bullshit that passes for it these days. Jesse James / TIger Woods cheating du jour and other celebrity nonsense and iReports are hardly worthy of being called journalism. I know you're an industry insider, but as a long-time viewer of CNN that has basically abandoned the network entirely my perception is that they long ago abandoned news for something that is neither entertaining nor informative. It's just a pathetic mix of time-killing chatter interspersed with promos about how they're the best team in [subject matter].

When I need plain old news I head to BBC or KQED.

Chez said...

Utterly irrelevant bullshit is news these days.

CNNfan said...

Fox calls its viewers "fans,"

Fox also calls CNN's viewers "fans," too.

When the CNNfan Community needs support for our members who are FOXfans. Like good old fashioned reporting, FOX practices good old fashioned fan support. A real person at FOX, makes sure by phone that the request by fans gets done fast.

Al said...

Utterly irrelevant bullshit is news these days.


Is it too late to back to one hour in the evening format when stories had to EARN airtime? *sigh*

CNNfan said...

CNN should dump the news flipper
and bring back the news ticker.

That many changing font sizes is
like reading a news feed on bungee cords

It is so annoying, I put masking tape
across the bottom of my TV screen!

CNNfan said...

I thought I interpreted some Cable TV ratings data online, that suggested Sponge Bob Square pants was nearly as relevant as FOX News.

FOX News may be on the stern of the ship with its ratings raised up in the air at a steep angle compared to the other news networks underwater at the bow of the cable network sinking ship.