The Information Desert...
Occasionally, I force myself to watch the cacophony that bills itself as The News from different sources (I prefer FoxNews, personally) so that I might (I pray) be given another take on the world, and insights that I may not be getting elsewhere. Hopefully, these other viewpoints are going to be juxtaposed against their intellectual and rhetorical counterparts, place din context free of bias, and something resembling useful information will come out of the TV. It is often a fruitless activity.
CNN is long past the point where objectivity is anything to be prized or striven for. In my experience, the last time CNN told the truth about anything is when it admitted that Peter Arnett lied about American chemical and biological warfare in Vietnam. Still, you might catch Wolf Blitzer in an unguarded moment when his mouth slips a gear and moves out of sync with his mouth. However, the amount of time one must devote to stalking such a choice morsel is counter-productive; you could, if inclined, learn quantum mechanics in the time between uttered truths on CNN. It's a useless exercise as the only thing you'll learn is today's DNC talking points.
Headline News is, I think, simply CNN under the No-Frills label. The 'Store Brand' CNN, if you will.
CBS and ABC News are simply lame. Whoever decided that Katie Couric was a journalist should be neutered -- painfully, and with every precaution taken to ensure rapid and pervasive post-operative infection. The issue is not that Katie is unattractive, nor unintelligent; there's no question as to her appeal, although the brain thing is open to debate. Her real problem is that she simply isn't believable. She hasn't the slightest inclination towards objectivity either, and she can't hide it. Poor Katie's also laboring with the Albatross of Dan Rather hung 'round her neck. This perception of CBS being so, a) dishonest and b) credulous, in it's handling of the G.W. Bush 'desertion' story is a stain that will not go away. It will linger for years, until CBS itself is a distant memory. I wonder if that clouds my judgement on the issue (see? Katie and CBS wouldn't even ask themselves that kind of question! I have more objectivity than CBS News!). Again, no real counterpoint is given to anything that passes ideological muster at CBS. The network who once carried Murrow's famous "London is burning..." now carries nothing at all.
Charlie Gibson is simply moribund. He reminds me of rice pudding. Six month old rice pudding. Stodgy and dodgy, and still laboring under the pretense that he offers something to the hungry -- in this case, hungry for news. I have a feeling that before Charlie goes on, someone scrapes the mold off him and props him up in his seat. I find him to be as interesting as unbuttered toast, and he makes me positively yearn for the days of Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. I don't like Charlie Gibson, and I find even less useful information on ABC news as I would expect to find in any collegiate doctorate course.
So, I'm left with NBC, which is really quite frightening. Rockefeller Center should be renamed Red Square. NBC is so devoted to the political left in this country that it's frightening. Now, if the hallowed halls of NBC News weren't scary enough, what with Tom Brokaw getting misty on Ascension (Inauguration) Day, the NBC cable operation is down right horrifying.
I call it PMSNBC. It's appropriate, because it's major hosts are all whining sacks of estrogen -- Nora O'Donnell, Chris Matthews and (especially) Keith Olbermann . All are shills for the political left and make no secret of it. In a token gesture of fairness, they drag Pat Buchannan out as the Conservative Curmudegeon and then surround him with two or three communist sympathizers programmed to repeat the same rubbish ad nauseum, in three different configurations. These are three of the most ingenuous people I've ever seen on TV. The other major host is Rachel Maddow, who has mysteriously proclaimed herself the Queen of Cable TV, while managing to be wrong in her pronouncements more often than those who defended Bill Clinton's innocence and decency. Her only saving grace is that she's obviously smarter than Olbermann, but her leftist zeal leaves you wanting to smack her with a brick. She reminds you of the poodle next door that won't stop yapping, But give her credit: she's at least probably in control of her faculties.
Nora O'Donell, I get the impression, doesn't have an idea that doesn't originate on a teleprompter; she's simply eye candy they taught to read. Matthews occasionally hits upon a patch of impartiality, but it's usually when the occasion is too obvious to obscure. Olbermann is simply insane. He's in love with his own voice, his own ideas, and his own (vapid and vacuous) jokes (I think they're supposed to be jokes). He's also obsessed with Bill O'Reilly. Like high-school-pimply-geek-who-keeps-asking-you-to-the-prom-stalker obsessed.
However, I will say this for PMSNBC -- Morning Joe is better than Fox and Friends, but only from the standpoint that since both really suck, it manages to suck a little bit less. Mostly because of Mika. That Mika Brzs-sha-sha-nis-shin-ski is nice to look at in the morning, and she actually offers some useful dialogue and asks the occasional relevant question...when Scarborough lets her get a word in edgewise, that is. When he presents a republican point of view, however, you feel as if the surface has merely been scratched, and barely at that. Toss JOe and give Mika more time to do her newswoman shtick; I'll bet she's good at it. She looks bright and competent
There is no possibility of an alternate point of view from the political right being fairly or fully presented on cable or broadcast TV, it seems, except on the Internet, and for that you have to actively search them out. Since most people are lazy and have attention spans measured in RPM's, I rather doubt many of them are spending their time trying to get properly informed, and are simply swallowing the mental jetsam available on TV without a thought.
It's no wonder people fell for HopeChange as a political program for American greatness.