TV News: Just die already

I hate TV news and TV “journalists.” Local, national, cable, network — you name it, I hate it and them. CNN, a once-proud innovator in quality news, is now even less than a joke. It’s no longer a laughable service, it’s one that should make every self-respecting democracy-loving American weep. CBS, already a shameful service, now wants to buy news from CNN? Well, sure — what the hell’s the difference at this point, anyway?

(The one exception, of course, is most of the stuff distributed via PBS. The pubcasting news/public affairs shows have their own problems, but integrity or seriousness of intent is not one of them.)

Thank God there are so many smart people in the world that are as outraged by (commercial) TV news as I am. The reaction to Wednesday night’s Clinton/Obama debate in Pennsylvania was instantaneous, nearly universally negative and — bonus — entertaining to boot.

Check out these Twitter posts (tweets) regarding the debate, from a variety of users…

  • 45 minutes into the debate and I’m thinking this is exactly why network TV must die. Not one real issue – just flag pins, Wright, and Bosnia
  • And should a former Clinton campaign manager be one of the two people conducting the debate? Doesn’t ABC have any real journalists?
  • ABC’s debate was a bigger joke than CNN’s compassion forum. it’s good the newseum in dc is now open because real journalism is cold and dead
  • hehe Charles said “fascinating debate”. What debate was he watching?
  • Just wrote a letter to my local affiliate complaining about how bad the Debate was handled. I felt bad for both candidates
  • Reddit-fueled debate backlash nearing 10,000 complaints on ABC website: (wait til Digg kicks in)
  • 50 minutes into the democratic debate and yet not one question of substance. No policy, all bullshit.
  • terrible debate. ABC News sucks.
  • Almost 10,00 comments on detesting the debate questions as tabloid and irrelevant. And they were.
  • What the hell is wrong with ABC? Effing flag pins and fake scandals? Well done. You’d have been better off letting The View run the debate.
  • the real question about tonight’s debate…will the press cover how bad abc news handled it???
  • tried giving feedback on the debate on the abc news site but couldn’t register. site is probably overloaded. comment count is now over 9500!
  • just under 4 hours since the debate and the abc news site has received almost 9400 comments, almost all negative!
  • to me, the big news of the debate is how terrible the moderators were. they were trying to create news. they were debating the candidates.
  • Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo says that after tonight, they need to give the debates back to the Women League of Voters?

Let’s set aside the new media topic for a moment and address journalism, ethics and trust. Public media purveyors: Your job is to be everything that ABC, CNN, CBS and others are not. Do that, on any platform, and the support will follow.

3 thoughts on “TV News: Just die already

  1. Amen John
    Have you seen Tim Robbins speech on this to the NAB – funny and very hard hitting?

    News is now poison – NPR and PBS are the last chance – also offers an opportunity – I think many are appalled by mainstream news – there is a vacuum

  2. Yeah, I watched the Tim Robbins speech last night on the web. Very good stuff. Funny how Hollywood (e.g. West Wing, et. al.) seems to understand what we need more than any politician. Yet Hollywood is also the source of the problem, as profits drive mass “news” away from real issues.

    I separately visited Michael Rosenblum’s web site last night and suggested, in response to a post of his, that he should pitch the VJ news idea to NPR. PBS is too lost in its own decay to take on a new challenge. But NPR has the leadership and vision and financial stability to take on a great new mission.

    Truth is, NPR isn’t going to grow much more via radio. But via video and the web and maybe even TV they could make a killing. A large number of people in the U.S. — more than I would have thought — seems ready for serious news coverage.

  3. That’s a thought John – NPR have the brand and the core newsroom – PBS only have the News Hour – what if both? I am a bit tired of the news hour format too – with no money they have to go to 2 experts and a mediator ALL the time.

    A Pub Media News with NH, NPR Newsroom, Public Insight Journalism and a Citizen Twitter and ??? Would be special and would I think only req

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