Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How to Report the News

I've seen this posted all over the place, but it's an excellent video that humorously deconstructs the cookie-cutter production of TV news segments.
In the defense of the news media, the format & technology has real constraints- so you can only be innovative to a point.

Of course, cable news is a much crazier creature than your local nightly news.
Probably the worst aspect of the 24-hour cable news is the "he said, she said" nature of most of the discussion. For example, I tend to agree with Keith Olbermann's politics, but his self-righteous ad hominem attacks are as obnoxious as his 'nemesis' Bill O'Reilly's on Fox. I appreciate intelligent opinion, but just calling people "Worse, Worser, & Worst Persons in the World" isn't news.

I do like to hear what different people have to say, although I take it all with a healthy dose of skepticism. The problem is that instead of using field experts, scientists, or public officials themselves- the "expertise" being tossed around are by people like Candy Crowley, Pat Buchanan, or Bill Kristol. I have never cared- nor will I ever care- what these people, among others, have to say.

To maintain a clear outlook, I try to expose myself to as many sources of information as possible. As soon as you say, "I only trust CNN," or 'I only watch Fox News." you've proved yourself to be an ignoramus. Speaking of which, I read comment threads about politics with idealistic Obama fanatics vs. rabid Obama haters and everything in between.

I have come to the conclusion that as long as we are not jacked into The Hive Mind that there will always be differences of opinion that cannot be resolved through reason or constructive engagement.

It's unfortunate, but we are, after all, basically just monkeys grunting at each other.

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