Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who's Ruining America: Part I - The Media



You Can't Fixing a Problem Without Defining It First.....


      Thanks for coming back, as we finally get to some meat of what we're trying to accomplish.  We kind of indulged ourselves with the first few posts, but it's time to get to work. We all know things are just wrong right now with our government, and in many ways, our country.  The important part to us is to try and pinpoint just where it went wrong.  There are many places that the train went off the tracks, so this will be a series of posts that we will start off with.  Welcome to Who's Ruining America..... First up, an easy target - The Media.

  Network Television
   I was a kid of the 70's and 80's.  When it came to news, we had the same people delivering us the necessary information that we needed.  Walter Cronkite was always there at 630, along with John Chancellor and David Brinkley.   Honestly, I never was very aware of any agenda they had, or what their viewpoints were.  But they were trustworthy.  When Cronkite finally came out and said that Vietnam was unwinnable, it was more important than anything coming from Capitol Hill or the Pentagon. It was over.  More importantly, they just read the news, except when they would defer for a minute, and a GIGANTIC caption that read "COMMENTARY".........Later on they were replaced by Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.  Still decent, if not quite as well respected.  Nowadays, news is delivered in group conversation form, with constant opinion, not fact.  No offense to them, but I'll decide what is 'terrible' or 'ridiculous' or 'tragedy'.......

   The fact is, television is an awful place to get your information.  TV anchors want to be taken so seriously, they let their biases take over the conversation too often.  The only possible exception could be some of the Sunday morning news shows, but they make a major mistake - they hire a 'panel of experts', 90% of whom are 50 times more biased than they are.  It's like trying to have a Gamecock Fan and a Tiger Fan debate who is better.  Tonight, the correct answer is Texas A&M..........  Add to that, the endless list of panel shows of such well-rounded and erudite people like Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg.  Having an Oscar or being funny makes your opinions worth something?


Cable Television
     Ugh!  Here's an idea that started off great.  24 Hour news.  Finally, an opportunity to really spend some time to fully discuss and dissect a topic, so viewers might actually LEARN something........ Nope.  We forgot that TV is for ADD, short term memory crackheads.  We try to enjoy Cable News, but it's just become impossible.  Lets spend a minute, and give you a brief review in true Festivus style, of how they've all disappointed us.....

Fox News Channel
        Conceived originally as a station to give Republicans equal time on issues (maybe a little more), Fox has regressed into ragging on Barack Obama 24/7, and pushing the Tea Party every 30 seconds. Their best credit is that they do talk about a variety of subjects, some more entertaining than others.  But it coincides with their biggest beef - too short segments.  If I hear "we're against a hard break here" one more time.  We do like the Weekend Morning Show.  Our least favorite?  Eric Bolling - the guy who killed Cashin' In.  Was a great biz show, now it's a shill for Ted Cruz....

MSNBC
      For Republicans like myself, it's almost unwatchable.  Morning Joe is okay, but any network that hires Al Sharpton and gives him his own show is dead to me. The midday shows are bearable, but their nighttime lineup makes me gag.    Their best move? Firing Keith Olbermann, allowing him to return to ESPN, where I liked him in the 90's....  The worst? Rachel Maddow. On every diatribe she goes on, I can pinpoint where she goes off track.  Between her and Fox's Megyn Kelly, 900PM may soon be banned altogether........

CNN
     I watch CNN in the mornings, and have for the past few months, when Fox's Obama Bash O-Mania went overboard.  This week, I'm particularly happy because they hired Alisyn Camerota to sub this week. I love her.  They generally do a decent job of trying to go middle ground, at least compared to the other two.  There are two notable exceptions: Guns and Race.  They get a bit preachy on both.  My biggest problem with them?  They only seem to be able to count to three.  That is, they discuss the same three topics over and over that day, while adding little to it. I have a big brain - I can handle it.  Ultimately, CNN disappoints because they've been doing it longer than any of them - they should be better than this.  Favorite Show: The Hunt With John Walsh.  Least Favorite: Don Lemon.  Question anything about race, and the guy explodes.... Not professional at all.


Online News
     Lets be honest here.  If you solely get your information from SC6,you need treatment.  Serious, Serious treatment........ I give opinion, not truth.  I hope it's the truth, but I certainly don't have a lock on knowledge.  I rarely had 'breaking news'.  Why, because we don't have real contacts. Of course, that doesn't stop some of us.  Some use the popular 'anonymous source' or 'person close to the situation'............. and they lie.  We generally are self-righteous egomaniacs that value our own opinion infinitely more than the rest of the world does.  I try to fill avoid.  As far as Right Wing and Left Wing Blogs go, I could take or leave 50,000 of them.  The worst I've seen - Western Journalism.  Flat Out Bullshit....... 

Radio
       Be discerning, folks. Radio offers the best opportunity for lengthy discussion, especially for regular people to voice their opinions.  However, most call-in shows, especially national radio, are no better than TV.  Listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz embarrasses me as a moderate Republican.  Like Rachel Maddow, I find myself going "Ok, Ok..... uh,wait ........ no,no,no..... what the f#*^????"  Common Sense just loses itself as it goes on.  And it's been pretty well documented how most of these guys are shills for their sponsors.  I do have one saving grace on air:  the POTUS Channel on Sirius XM.  I don't listen to Patriot the Progressive Channel.   POTUS does a good job of discussing topics in detail, with very little opinion.  The best shows?  Michael Smerconish from 9-12 am, and The Press Pool with Julie Mason. Smerconish is a middle ground compromiser - as close to myself as I've seen in major media.  Julie Mason is excellent at showing the ridiculousness in politics, and she plays great 80's New Wave music....     

Newspapers
       My friend and former Morning News editor Jackie Torok will like this, but print news may be the last great hope.  Why? Because when it's done correctly and according to standard, it's dry news.  Every story is written the same way - it's like a form letter.  It at least gives you a chance at impartiality.  That, and the back sections give them an opportunity to go into a story in more detail.  Of course, all bets are off in the editorial and opinions sections.  Yes, some are liberal J-School graduates doctrinated by their college profs, and tainted by an idealistic, yet unrealistic, desire to change the world.  However, most try to report unbiased.  Least favorite part? The ink stains on your fingertips.........

You
     I hate to break it to you, but it's your fault too.  What, I'm willing to blame myself, but not you?   Yes, you need to reflect on yourself for a minute.  Do you try to see the other side's point of view, or do you just watch shows that just agree with you?  We all like to get confirmation that we're on target on things.  I'll get mine if the hits start rising, or if they fall of a cliff.  The truth is, most of us are generally closed minded tour news.  You have to make an effort to learn more, and it also makes better arguments for your side, because you actually KNOW what they think.....not what you think they think.


There is waaaaaay too much information out there, and a lot of it is crap.  Don't just absorb information - disseminate it, question it, and make up your own unique opinion on subjects.  I'm a Republican, but I am far from in lockstep with the GOP platform.  I'm not just a Republican. I'm me.  I'm unique, and so are you.  When using media for your politics. Tread lightly..........

.       
    
        
  

2 comments:

MG said...

Not to bad. Bill O'Reily is the worst on FOX I believe.

Michael Reino said...

O'Reilly is a bit pompous, but I think Hannity is worse. Watching the Hannity/Colmes show was like pulling teeth... Awful. I realized I completely skipped radio!