Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, and so many other pioneering television journalists would be turning over in their graves if these legends could find out just how their current legatees are handling this business of newsgathering.
Sorry, folks, but I just don't see news as entertainment.
News is news...period.
The way the TV arms of this country's six biggest media companies followed this month's recent national events- starting with the 2014 midterm elections- soured me on continuing to watch their offerings, be they on these companies' broadcast networks or on their cable divisions.
That's right...no more Hardball. No more 60 Minutes. Since the cable provider I've hooked up with dropped C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 from the provider's basic lineup, the only meat I'm going to get when I turn on my TV set will come from PBS.
Nobody else on the tube today is performing the role of watchdog.
TV reporters working for the commercial media firms aren't asking the tough questions...questions that help viewers get better informed.
For instance, the TV reporters (and no telling how many other journalists in other media), while watching the Nuts (oops, I mean Republicans) retake the US Senate and solidify their hold on the US House, could've asked the new lawmakers- the ones vowing to get the Affordable Care Act repealed- to disclose their own replacement(s) for this law they hate so much. (Never mind that the components of the ACA were originally cooked up by GOP minds!)
These same journalists could've asked the Democrats seeking (and unable to gain) office to explain running away from their party's post-1933 accomplishments...let alone its post-2009 achievements.
And the voters who just got through setting foot at their neighborhood polling places could've themselves used tougher questions...especially the voters in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. (People in those four states complained bitterly about their governors- Republicans all- misusing them. But that didn't stop those same voters from reelecting all four of them to second terms.)
Too much cowardice going on on the air...and I don't want to be in on it anymore.
In the meantime, I'll continue to read newspapers...and I'll continue to get right here on this Internet and go to the online versions of those papers, as well as sites like www.factcheck.org and www.dailykos.com.
Online, you're not as likely to run into the cowardice that's prevented correspondents from Big Media from asking John Boehner to explain not taking Steve King or Mo Brooks to task for their racist comments...or asking this country's Speaker of the House to talk about that meeting he and Mitch McConnell attended hours after Barack Obama's first inauguration. (You know, the meeting where McConnell, Boehner, and other key Republicans got together and vowed: "We're not going to work with this 'N-word!'")
And then there's the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, MO, where twelve people decided to let Darren Wilson go free.
These last three-going-on-four months, the only outlet in which I saw any mention of the role White privilege has played in Wilson's murder of Michael Brown (it wasn't enough to take Brown to the police station) was...www.dailykos.com.
Would a reporter from CBS or CNN still have a job after addressing White privilege in America?
Yes, Big Media, it's been quite a ride all these years of watching the news unfold on my (or my mom's or anybody else's) TV set. Lots of history being made.
But when your reporters aren't encouraged to ask tougher questions than the ones out there, and it's all because you're more concerned about profit and about glitz than about truth, it's time for me to get off the ship.
When I watch news on TV, I don't want to be entertained.
I want to be informed.