In today’s world, fair and unbiased reporting doesn’t seem to sell anymore. News programs, under pressure by new technologies and a 24/7 mentality have seemed to succumb to the evils of the path of least resistance. They have become panderers. The news is not what’s important anymore, what’s important is getting the viewers, and it seems that any tactics to gain these viewers is acceptable. Fair and unbiased meets tell me what I want to hear. Tell me what you want me to hear. Don’t tell me the truth, because I can’t handle the truth.
I can’t put my finger on exactly when it happened, but I know that it started with the advent of pay cable. I remember with great glee the new world of, get this as I know it’s hard to comprehend, commercial free television. Yes, commercial free! The idea was I pay money to watch something that has NO commercials. And then it started. The cable companies started to complain that they weren’t making enough money to continue operations. Things would have to change. They would need to start showing commercials on a limited basis. And then more. And more. Until you have more commercials on some cable television programs than you do on network television. The fleecing of America. What a great scam this turned out to be. We now actual pay our cable bills so we have the pleasure of watching paid for infomercials. And they have the gall to call us dumb. We’re not dumb, were stupid! Or insane. I’ll leave this one up to you, the reader, to figure out.
What does all of this have to do with fair and unbiased reporting? Competition at it’s worst. Again, the voracity of the news reporter has morphed into the objectives of the businessman. Turn a profit. Claim your right to having a monopoly by agreements that assign territories to one Cable Company. No one to duke it out with, you’ve got a captive audience that you can ignore and abuse. You can develop the means to have 24/7 infomercials in the guise of reporting the news. You can protect your own interests by slanting everything you present in your favor. Think I’m wrong? Just compare the efforts of the “liberal” Public Broadcasting System to the wildly “conservative” Fox News programming found on the cable networks. One of the two still tries to present both sides of the same coin, and I will again leave it up to the reader to figure out which one presents “news” more fairly and unbiased.
Conservative cable news channels have become the norm instead of the exception. An example of the unfair and biased approach to covering the news on these conservatively bent networks is best displayed on the day that the Tea Party was holding a rally with approximately 500 people recently while there was a 1,000,000 person march on Washington D.C. regarding immigration and the preponderance of the coverage and commentary was focused on the Tea Parties activities. Fair and unbiased? I don’t think so.
As dated as this makes me, I grew up in a time where our news reporters were revered. They performed their jobs with insight and integrity. They could be trusted. Today’s anchors and reporters have become just a bunch of talking heads that constantly press their personal or company’s political agendas. We are as likely to discount what they say as we are to believe it. News reporting has become just another game show, and that is a shame for our democracy needs accurate information to make informed decisions. I do not think this will change until there is real competition for “accurate” and “impartial” news reporting, so America, just say No to bad news programs and know when you are being played. Oh, for the good old days when I didn’t have to worry about such things!