Sunday, January 09, 2005

Dare to Dream

From today's NY Times:

"Jonathan Klein, president of CNN, announced last week that he was canceling 'Crossfire' and steering CNN back toward actual news.

Maybe this could be the start of something big. We have lived through a generation now in which television news operations grew more and more dependent on 'talking heads' shows because they are inexpensive. Since conversation is not normally high-octane viewing, producers tried to raise the interest level by encouraging the guests to start yelling at one another. The Fox News network swept the decks when it combined the snarling heads with right-wing commentary. Soon, the all-news airwaves were awash with primal screams. People tuning in to hear how the election was going might very well have imagined they had clicked onto a pregame show for professional wrestling."


Is it possible that as a society we have to come to emulate these "talking head" shows in our own political discourse? The chant of "flip-flop" at the RNC, is that really appropriate for what Andrew Jackson called the "great contest." (On balance, I'm sure the Dems did something as offensive, I just can't remember what it was offhand.)

If we're lucky, we'll see the end of the "primal scream" on TV soon, a precursor to the end of the "primal scream" of contemporary political discourse.

2 Comments:

Blogger Stew Magoo said...

Heh,
I thought Crossfire was gone long ago. Did ANYONE watch that show?

A point of correction, Fox bucked the trend of liberal bias as a gamble (something the Fox network does quite a bit) and it paid off huge. Basically because it was the only place to go to get news without having to deal with the liberal bias (in spite of the protestations to the contrary) of the other news networks.

Enjoy your blog.

What do you think of the Falcons chances in the playoffs?

Stew

10:58 PM  
Blogger Outlier said...

Stew:

Thanks for the complement on the blog.

Here's a question (and possibly a follow-on post):

Does Fox News counter liberal bias in the news, or in the commentary? I don't watch a whole lot of Fox in the day, but I'd imagine it's a lot like CNN Headline News - basically the same ten to twelve stories circulated every half-hour.

"Snowstorm in the Midwest", "Destruction in Indonesia", "Jets and Colts Advance", "5 killed in Iraq car bombing", "Scientists have discovered..."

At night, the commentators and opinion shows are definitely conservative in analysis, especially in their choice of guests.

Is there something I'm missing?

(BTW - I think Atlanta is going to the Super Bowl, but those crazy Rams are unpredicatable. Somehow, for all the criticism, Mike Martz wins.)

11:31 AM  

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