Monday, June 15, 2009

Death to Cable 'News'

Iranian demonstratorTake it out behind the barn and put it out of its misery.

This is a 'Murrica-specific recommendation; for all I know, cable news elsewhere may be fine. But some interesting news about power politics has been happening in a place that has had a lot of interesting power politics since Cyrus the Great ... and you would never know it if you had to depend on the US cable news networks. Thank God for the Internet!

This has been a public service news flash. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've found that cable news gives you a wide range of headlines; you can then use other sources (newspapers, internet, magazines, ect.), to fill in the blanks.
Ferrell

Rick said...

Even as a headline service they've been going downhill. It used to be that I could turn on the tube at the top of the hour and get some idea of the day's Big Stories, but it seems like in the last few months I can't even count on that. :-/

Kedamono said...

I watch BBC America for my world news. I get better world coverage through them, and then I watch a local cable news service, NorthWest Cable News (NWCN), for local news. (However, NWCN records a half hour show and repeats it for about four hours before recording a new half hour...)

So I'm able to follow what's happening in Iran right now.

Rick said...

I envy anyone with access to the Beeb! I imagine it falls short of its mythology, but it could fall waaay short and still be far ahead of the US cable nets.

Anonymous said...

Try the BBC News website. It's usually a day behind, and it's North American coverage isn't great, but there's a lot of very good analysis of world affairs.

Ian_M

Rick said...

Ian - Yes. Oddly enough there's no shortage of good places to go online for in depth analysis. My grump is that CNN used to be good for breaking stories, and now they no longer bother with their core competency.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't really call 'news' part of CNN's core competencies. I gave up on cable news a long time ago. Texting, e-mail, twitter, instant messaging, YouTube... If I need news I can get it online. What CNN et al should be doing is analysis, but they don't seem to handle that as well as blogs do. Instead they settle for repeating press releases and political spin.

I also get most of my entertainment from the internet rather than cable. The MSN can have my attention when they stop regurgitating predigested plots and characters.

Ian_M

Rick said...

The MSN can have my attention when they stop regurgitating predigested plots and characters.

That may be when they are dead. :-)

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being politically incorrect, this is why I don't really trust our current President. These selfsame media organizations are the ones that started pushing the "Obama '08" meme before the '04 election season was even over (Namely, at the '04 DNC).

Rick said...

Anon - FWIW, I supported Hillary in the primaries, in part for just that reason, but I can hardly blame Obama for knowing how to spin the MSM. (I'm pleasantly delighted with his performance in office, but that's a different subject.) By way of irony, the MSM also had a long term love affair with McCain.

For anyone who urgently wants to read more of my political opinions, go here:

http://www.europeancourier.org/RickRobinson.htm

Conservatives will probably want to pour a stiff one first - consider yourselves warned. :->

Anonymous said...

I can't say I've been delighted with Obama, but he has turned out to be a bit more pro-Israeli than his party has a habit of being, which is a pleasant surprise.

Linguofreak.

Rick said...

Obama seems to be a thorough foreign policy realist, both in the formal sense of realpolitik and the everyday sense. For example his veiled statements about Iran, crafted to keep Ahmadinejad (sp?) and his faction from gaining traction from the claim that his opponents are US stooges.

Tamora said...

Rick--I second the vote for the Beeb online--I check it, then MSNBC online, to cobble together some idea of what's going on. Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic online (forgive me, I don't know how to do links on Blogger, but they're on my tammy212 lj) has been putting up all kinds of input from Iran since the elections began, from Twitter reports to local news.

He also proclaimed CNN officially dead as a legit news source. I did so for myself when I discovered I couldn't get anything about recent ructions in Pakistan on either Headline News or CNN proper. Like you, I remember the days when CNN stood for something.

BTW, have you read the nonfiction book CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR? It's great--the movie followed the main story, but there was so much more skullduggery going on. It reads as smoothly as a novel, with adventure in the Hindu Kush and cloak-and-dagger stuff between Israelis, Americans, and Arabs!

Rick said...

Tammy! Yes, CNN jumped the shark a while ago. I get most of my information online, but a decent TV headline service would be nice.

I've been keeping up with Andrew Sullivan, lazily following the link from Talking Points Memo. I think he's where I found out about the young woman who was shot, unfortunately for the hardline clerics caught on video. Clumsy move, guys - always keep your dirty work off video!

I didn't see the movie 'Charlie Wilson's War' - I'll keep in mind what you say about the book. Thanks for the tip!

Jean Remy said...

Charlie Wilson's war (the movie, I should grab the book) watches like a pretty good comedy movie.

Then you realize that even if it was only remotely grounded in truth, there was some basis of fact. And it still makes it a good comedy.

The grand farce of international politics: you can't write that stuff in fiction and be believed!

Rick said...

That's the challenge that always bedevils fiction. It has to be believable ... fact doesn't.