Tag: cable news

Fighting for “Consensual Reality”

 

Now there’s talk of de-platforming conservative cable news programs. Is anyone surprised? Former Facebook executive Alex Stamos spoke on CNN on Sunday, and is “fighting for the people” in protesting the right-wing programs:

And then we have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem that these companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes. This is allowing people to seek out information if they really want to, but not pushing it into their faces I think is really where we’re going to have to go here.

I’m sorry to share a quotation that is slightly incoherent, but I think the gist of his comment is that he wants to respect freedom of speech, except he doesn’t. And he appears to want people to find information they are interested in, except that companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast shouldn’t be providing it.

The Media Wants Division, the People Want Peace

 

Cable news is in the business of division. For decades, they have sown discord whether Republican vs. Democrat, Black vs. White, Civilian vs. Cop. I stopped watching their nonsense years ago, saving me from endless hours of people screaming at each other over lurid B-roll.

When I interview a guest or meet someone new, I find areas of mutual agreement and build from there. I no longer try to score cheap points or emphasize flaws to judge. I have enough flaws of my own; once I correct all of those, perhaps I’ll have time to judge others. Don’t think I’ll get there for a while.

Apologies to my media betters, but I will not hate police officers and I will not hate victims of police brutality. I won’t hate the protestors or the security trying to keep the peace.

Hot-Take Media Incapable of Covering Coronavirus

 

The latest tax cut “would kill 10,000 people annually.” Net Neutrality was going to “end the internet as we know it.” False charges of Russian collusion were promoted with daily cable news “blockbusters” that it was “the beginning of the end” and the “walls were closing in.”

Our hot-take media survives on internet clicks and 15-minute windows of TV viewership. The easiest way to play that game is to present everything as a crisis. A slow news week doesn’t slow down the “breaking news” crawl warning of the latest way the world will end. Climate change, a local election, and that joke the comedian told on Netflix doom our society and you need to keep watching to find out how long we have left.

Then, an actual crisis comes. Coronavirus, for instance. A rapidly spreading pandemic that has killed thousands in China and Italy and is now appearing on our shores. The good news for talking heads is that they have actual information to provide to viewers. They don’t need to hype, embellish, or exaggerate. Just report the latest data, transmit important statements from medical experts and political leaders, and share safety tips.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a new poll showing Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill losing to her likely Republican opponent. They also shake their heads as more than 30 House Republicans, including several committee chairmen, are retiring and leaving it much tougher for the GOP to hold the majority after the midterm elections. And they react to Life Time gyms refusing to turn their televisions to cable news channels because they conflict with the gym’s commitment to a “healthy way of life.”