Friday, November 06, 2009

Maybe It's Just Me . . .

. . . but it bothers me that whenever there's a developing crisis like the Fort Hood shooting, the "news" channels fill the air with hour after hour of rumors, misinformation, and wild-ass guesses.

11 comments:

  1. You're absolutely correct, spot-on and it's not just you. I recall that, for a year or so, CNN was all hard news. Meaning they reported the FACTS.

    But then all televised news is about reactive journalism, not reportage, any more. I even see it in the newspaper.

    CNN re-ran the same tired stock footage in the background while various "analysis's" rehashed the story and asked people who didn't have any more information then they what was happening.

    CNBC, Fox, you name it they muffed it. I turned the TV off in disgust. The story in the paper this morning had as much info as any, and no commercials.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, newspaper ads are not commercials. They don't yell at me, they don't move, and I can easily ignore them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're right, Bill. I've conditioned myself not to follow developing stories unless they're unfolding in my neighborhood. You're always better off waiting a day, when the hysteria fades and the facts are established.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I spent a long time in the broadcast world, some in the news business, and one thing I learned is that not only is each station trying to get some piece of information their competition doesn't have, but they also have a HUGE amount of time to fill, so if speculation and rumors fill the time, great. Once those rumors and speculations are proven untrue or inaccurate, they can always be excused as "initial reports", which means they take no responsibility for them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, indeed. And not just with sudden events such as the shooting, but as a regular thing, only put, in the place of Wild-Ass Guessing, Conventional Wisdom and Echo Chamber Parroting for the regular run of blather. A rather irritating recent example: the non-crisis of Jon Corzine's cheap shot at Chris Christie's obesity in one of the campaign ads in the New Jersey Governor's race. No one I know in Jersey thought of it as more than a trivial bit of mockery, not a good reflection on Corzine's campaign, but hardly crucial. You'd have thought it was the center of the campaign from "news" source ranging from PRI/NPR to the Blather Channels. There's a reason I watch more of C-SPAN than any other channel theoretically devoted to news...and I don't watch That much C-SPAN (Link TV, with its leftist bias, and cutely-"hip" Current get my attention more than the clowns at CNN or FNC or MSNBC)...I've been giving Joy Behar a chance on CNN "HLN," but she's a less impressive interviewer than I'd been hoping.

    ReplyDelete
  6. And that's why, after I learned the initial story yesterday afternoon, I stopped listening to the TV and waited until 5:30 for Brian Williams to fill me in. Then, I didn't read any more until this morning's NPR. Repeat at 5:30 tonight. It's. Just. Too. Much.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not just you. Everybody who sees these stories asks the question, "Why did they tell us 'details' before they had the details? They've 'corrected/adjusted' their story five times in as many hours! Sheesh!"

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous7:37 AM

    The reason is: a 24 hour news cycle and endless hours to fill, even if they have nothing to say. What you need to do, Bill, is somehow get yourself certified as an "expert" on one or more of tehchannels so they will call on (and pay) you in every crisis, whether you nothing anything about it or not.

    Plus, re the Corzine story i find that inside the Beltway (where Fox News, MSNBC and CNN political shows live, so to speak), they have very little touch with the "outside world" of the "real America" and everything is a crisis.

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, endless time to fill. The "gaping maw" I call it. No need to tighten, fact-check, establish coherency.

    ReplyDelete
  10. For the interested: Uncle Jay addresses this very issue in today's episode --

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK1sA707Ycw

    ReplyDelete