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The Death of TV

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This is my 9th year without cable TV and it is even worse today as it was then. Today I can barely stand a 30 minute sitting. And I am not just talking about "Ice Road Truckers" or the "Pawn Shop Wars". I am talking about the cable news outlets and the talking heads.

Does anyone else share my opinion?

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I don't watch TV news. Seems now it's mostly advertising and plugging their own network shows. I read a newspaper. The LA Times certainly has it's faults, but also is a pretty good news service.

About the only shows I watch are British ones. Their comedies and detective shows are better than ours.


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I don't know enough about US TV to comment, really, but we do get quite a lot of American TV over here and I can get a number of US news programs online. On the flimsy basis of that evidence I get the impression that the US and the UK are polar opposites regarding news sources: our TV news is very good, very good indeed, possibly because the BBC with its government remit does a very good job of impartial authoritative news broadcasting, and the other channels strive to match that standard. On the other hand many (most?) of our newspapers no longer make much attempt at delivering news, being more concerned with salacious gossip-mongering. There are exceptions, but the circulation of the 'quality press' is tiny compared to that of the 'gutter press'. From what others have commented it would seem that US newspapers are relatively good. News on TV in America from what I've seen of it frightens me in its bias and bigotry - I'm thinking Fox News in particular. I do follow Rachel Maddow on MSNBC who is very entertaining, clever, and clearly biased on the other side of the fence from Fox.

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That's one of the problems with so much TV news reporting here: the bias. Of course, newspapers are delinquent there, too, but it usually isn't quite so obvious.

But TV news is mostly concerned with car crashes, brawls, sexual offenses, murders, that sort of thing. Anyone forming an opinion of the US from our nightly news reports would think this the most violent, depraved country in the world, and it really isn't. Ratings are what the news programs fight tooth and nail for because the higher the ratings, the more they can charge their advertisers. With that standard, news of the Iran talks, for instance, becomes a non-starter. Sex and violence sells. Peace initiatives don't.

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  • 4 months later...

I live out in the boondocks so I don't really have much of an option with respect to the print media. I do know what our county supervisors are up to because of my local paper, but I can't grapple with the concept of a regular newspaper the majority of which would go unread into the recycle bin.

For what it's worth, I think the best broadcast news is Al Jazeera: they cover a lot of territory that network news stations seem to be unaware of; I do watch Rachel Maddow from time to time but I've pretty much relegated most of the opinion channels to the ignore file as I'm sick to death of hearing about Trump's latest bad hair moment.

I wish we had something comparable to the BBC which is every bit as good as AJ. I remember listening to it in the Red Sea, among other spots, and it always was informative. A friend of mine, of an evangelical persuasion, insists that the BBC never gives the weather in Israel. Does anyone know if this is true. I find evangelicals to be fact free by and large.

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Cole is right, and not just about the weather. Television programs are vapid pieces of garbage in this day and age of reality programming. You want news, weather, go to the internet. That way you won't have to watch CNN and Faux News use Sarah Palin to deliver moments of incredible stupidity they call the news. Need entertainment...go read a book.

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