I was all set to write about all the exciting things going on in the world of politics today. And then…suddenly…nothing happened. (But it happened suddenly!) It must be difficult to be the news editor at one of th 24-hour news networks on a day like today. Most days in fact, I suspect the news biz is a lot like what they say (“they” being the Van Patten family) about pilots – long stretches of boredom, punctuated by a few moments of sheer exhileration and terror. Trouble is, the newsies still have time to fill – and fill it they do, mostly with low-cal filler, tripe, trumped up stories, and navel gazing. Even my personal fave, FoxNews, does far too many breathless stories on the fate of ___________ (insert the latest tragic dissapearance, murder, or sensational trial). Currently, it’s the missing toddler, Caylee Anthony. Like most of the rest of the country, I suspect she’s no longer alive, and that her mom had something (if not everything) to do with it. Still, we live in a country where you’re presumed innocent, so we must let the justice system take it’s own course. Not the news media, of course. They’ve got time to fill, and just because they have no real news upon which to report, they’ll just find a way to stretch what they’ve got to fill the time available.
The pity of this is, when Fox and the liberal networks actually get their game on, they can present some interesting, in-depth reporting. I’ve known a few TV on-camera talents in my time, and what’s interesting is that they fall into two camps – those that want to report the news, and those that want to investigate it. For every talking head you see on TV, there’s a dozen or so REAL reporters working there that would just as soon be digging for leads and uncovering facts, than they would be having to worry about if every hair is in place for their next on-camera shot.
Don’t get me wrong, just because a network decides a story is worth reporting in-depth, doesn’t mean they’re gonna do a fair and balanced job on it. Recent CNN in-depth specials on such mythical, junk-science topics as “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” did nothing but echo the party line. Nowhere in there was anything more than a passing nod to telling both sides of the story.
Just about every one of these rising stars at the networks fancy themselves the next Edward R. Murrow. Problem is, Edward R. Murrow wasn’t “Edward R. Murrow.” If you actually go back and look at his carreer, Saint Edward was something of a Johnny-come-lately on many of the stories that the revisionsist historians would have us believe he was on from the start, leading the charge. Still, it’s interesting to note that reporters – and networks with an adgenda is nothing new. Murrow made a concious decision to go after Senator Joe McCarthy, and bagged him. Problem is, history has proven McCarthy right about a lot of the charges he made. A fairer media would have exposed McCarthy’s bombast, while admitting that he had a point. Murrow and CBS were more interested in making a point than telling the truth.
The next time you turn on the news, think about what you’re hearing. While the mainstream media would have you believe that the government is almost always lying to you, it seems that in their zeal to fill a 24-hour news day (or even an hour at 6PM), they’re not above lying to us without so much as blinking an eye.