Network News and the 24 Hour news cycle

Sitting here, alone in a hotel room on the outskirts of Des Moines, I have spent the past several hours absorbing cable news. I do not own a television, so it has been quite some time since I actually sat back and watched. I feel vindicated for giving away my television now.

Out of the top three cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews) I find CNN's reporting to be the most genuine, though far from perfect. They have fallen into the same slag pit of unnecessary graphics splashed across the screen, ticker tape style newsflashes going TWO different ways at any given time, but less prone to hyperbole and scare tactics than FoxNews or MSNBC.

I must admit that I was unable to watch FoxNews for more than an hour. I tried. I really did. But it seemed to be nothing but negative attacks on anyone who said anything bad about the Tea Party, along with nodding heads yelling back and forth. I honestly don't know how anyone could stand this! MSNBC was a bit like Fox, as they took a decidedly left approach to counter FoxNew's far right politics.

CNN seems like that quiet child sitting in the room who suddenly stands up, looks you in the eyes and says something profound, leaving you speechless. The child then vomits on you while talking about Charlie Sheen. I could handle this better than the rhetoric from the other two networks.

Local news is not much better, but focused on at least one happy story to keep the viewer from committing suicide.

I remember when CNN first came online. My father has a big nine foot satellite dish, and we always sat around the television to watch the networks take flight. MTV, CNN, TBS, HBO, the Playboy Channel.

The Playboy Channel was scrambled of course, but not digitally encrypted. This allowed my brother and I to use a tunable crystal passthrough to descramble the images. It took a whole day of fine tuning, but in the end, we became hackers of a sort.

I think I'd rather watch a cartoon or the Playboy channel than network news, I'm afraid. And I only watch the Playboy Channel for the articles.

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