Friday, August 21, 2009

Cheezy News Network

We need to come up with a new phrase that indicates when a cable news network has gone over the edge. When a sitcom collapses it is called "jumping the shark." When it's a classic movie series it is called "nuking the fridge" (something I would like to retroactively apply to Phantom Menace, by the way). And now with CNN coming up with shows like "Just Sayin'" and "What the..." (not to mention the cancer that is known as Lou Dobbs) we have to find a way write them off in pop cultural shorthand... in some way that is less lame than their own segment titles. Have they been taken over by 13 year olds? What's going on?

As background you should know that I was a huge fan of CNN when it started back in the early 80s. I loved Bernard Shaw's gravitas. I loved keeping up with international events. My only complaint was that eventually the news recycled because at ten years old I was happy to sit down and watch that channel all day long but when they started the cycle over again it harshed my curiosity.

It's possible that the classic purpose of CNN has become outdated - namely 24-hour NEWS. If people are really migrating to FoxNews and MSNBC then they don't want news they want opinion (specifically opinions that support their own and, you know, "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it." ~Jef Mallett). It's like another era of yellow journalism. Pulitzer vs. Hearst has been replaced with Murdoch vs. well, I guess, Soros.

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