MSNBC came into existence after we had decided to get rid of cable. I haven’t had much occasion to ever watch it, but I tuned in while I was on my business trip. It wasn’t that impressive. Yes, I must admit it was somewhat pleasing to hear perspectives closer to mine, and to hear “journalists” point out the inaccuracies of things GOP politicians were saying while the cameras were rolling. But at the end of the day, MSNBC seemed too similar to Fox News.
Both news channels start out the day with a group of folks sitting around babbling incessantly about news stories (many of questionable merit)--and about each other. You probably have to be a pretty regular viewer to get some of the teasing that goes on. It is so personality driven that it seems a bit like a soap opera.
The channels’ primetime programming is filled with angry people speaking with great snarkiness and indignation about those on the other side of the aisle. Although each channel sometimes has guests or features “journalists” with a different perspective, for the most part the primetime programming vilifies those who don’t agree with the ideological bent of the channel. This type of programming is polarizing and does not do anything to promote a more civilized form of public debate in this country.
In between these two points in the day, Fox News and MSNBC both just seem to have hours and hours of superficial reporting of the latest news stories. Only the bare bones facts are relayed. And the facts reported are typically just taken from public statements and press releases. There seems to be very little investigative reporting these days. Moreover, if it didn’t happen recently, it doesn’t seem to bear mentioning. No wonder we Americans don’t have much of a memory with regard to politics and world events.
When such news channels—and Comedy Central—are the main sources of news for so many Americans, I truly worry for the future of our republic.
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man
Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
But a fool displays folly.