Wednesday, August 03, 2005

CNN stands for Clearly Not News

Twenty-four hour news is great in theory. If we had twenty-four or even one hour of actual in-depth world coverage and explanations of current events, then we could make rational, well-informed decisions about how to run our lives and pick our leaders. But we don't. All we have is hours upon hours of sensational coverage. Yesterday I was watching CNN cover the Air France crash for about 2 hours and there was absolutely NO information--just an image of a burning plane. One astute reporter said, "If the pilot is alive, it could be really helpful to the situation." Well, no shit! It would be really helpful to the situation if everyone was alive. Today we found out that everyone is okay. What would be even more helpful is if CNN actually gave us any sort of facts. Why not wait an hour until you know what's going on? Why all the speculation? Who needs 2 hours of a random retired pilot's and a dopey reporter's opinion as to what happened. Isn't news supposed to be about getting facts first and then reporting them? Give us the facts!!

In light of this idiocy, I have some recommended reading for us, and any other person for that matter, who still remembers how to pick up a book and set their eyes upon it. Please pick up a copy of Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death." It's a quick, yet enlightening read (about 184 pages) on the destruction of literacy and public discourse as an effect of the television age. You'll be surprised to find out that people used to sit through 8 hours or more of the Lincoln-Douglas debates without ever getting angry for lack of breaks every 8 minutes. This book is marvelous and even relevant to the internet age which is surprising since it was written in 1986.

Buy it today!!

1 comment:

Brendan said...

you are very correct. a least you get cable news though. try watching the basic cable channels around 6 o'clock. shudder
i am afraid to turn on my TV.