When our grandparents were coming of age, there were very few channels being broadcast on TV, if your grandparents owned a television set at all. Their parents, along with every other previous generation, acquired information on current events through newspaper articles and word-of-mouth gossip. Television programming introduced itself in the journalistic sphere through the CBS evening news hours.
Broadcast Journalism became mainstream through pioneering anchors including Edward Murrow, whose series of reports led to the censure of Joseph McCarthy. Walter Cronkite also rose to prominence when he questioned America’s motives in the Vietnam War.
This was the good ol’ days of real journalism. News anchors were after the truth. They precisely performed the duties of the free press, which involves regulating the powers of the government through public transparency. The average person was informed thanks to those well-groomed, suit-clad men behind the television screen.
A historic moment in journalism occurred on Sunday, June 1st, 1980. At exactly 5:00 in the afternoon, Ted Turner, a distinguished media mogul, launched the Cable News Network (CNN) as the first 24 news cable news channel. Now, the average Joe and Jane didn’t have to wait until 6:30 before being informed on ongoing events.
During the next decade, NBC would launch its own 24 hour news channel (MSNBC) and Rupert Murdoch would follow suit with SKY News and later, FOX news channel. My generation is completely unable to envision a world without 24-hour news!
Our parents would have been initially seduced by CNN. I know my parents were relieved by an alternative to fucking Doordarshan! However, there is a major folly with 24 news cycles: Entertainment.
In order for a channel to continue being on air, it has to garner adequate ratings. There is only one thing that will attract the audience: Entertainment.
Sensationalism is now the norm in news reporting. Emotional manipulation and misleading headlines has been heavily instrumental in the 2016 Elections.
Why do you think Donald Trump is still in the race? He is disingenuous, crude, uninformed and possibly a sociopath. It would be impossible for any rational person to take him seriously. However, we can’t ignore his success in the polls. He is undeniably, and regrettably, on his way towards the Republican nomination.
Donald Trump’s success is attributed to the widespread coverage he received by 24-hour news cycles. Astonishingly, it seems many were ignorant of credible candidates, like Lindsey Graham and George Pataki, seeking the Republican nomination. In addition, a significant portion of Republican voters are unaware that John Kasich is still in the race!
Unfortunately, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and John Kasich are not remotely entertaining. They’re just your average, boring politicians. Donald Trump is different. He’s vulgar and asinine, wearing his devil-may-care attitude on his sleeve. His bigoted comments towards Mexican immigrants appeal to disenfranchised White blue-collar workers. The more they see ‘The Donald’ on their television screens, the more they’re attracted to him.
Let’s switch to the other side of the election coverage. As of today, the race for the Democratic nomination is down to two candidates. However, for many months, Martin O’Malley was still maintaining his campaign run, despite being labelled as an unidentified man in a newspaper article, portraying him standing next to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Although he retired his campaign, I can’t help but wonder why he never cultivated any momentum in the race. Martin O’ Malley is a liberal’s wet dream. He is one of the very few politicians to stand up to Wall Street. He’s a proponent of strict gun regulations. He is an avid supporter of expanding social programs and he’s even in favor of paving a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Unfortunately for O’Malley, Bernie Sanders has ‘out-lefted’ him. Martin O’Malley may give every hipster a boner however, Bernie Sanders can trigger a complete orgasm! Bernie is so liberal, he’s a fucking socialist! Sander has served his entire career as a nonconforming independent, which is very refreshing in today’s political sphere.
Then, there’s Hillary Clinton, of whom O’Malley is certainly no match. The self-proclaimed ‘pragmatic progressive’ has more publicity than the Queen of England, courtesy to her ‘casanova’ husband. Ever since Clinton was elected senator in 2001, she carved out a place for herself within the Democratic Establishment, marketing herself as a strong-willed, ambitious woman in a boys club.
So you have the mainstream, establishment candidate with a vagina and the rebellious Socialist with an attitude. So where does that leave Martin O’Malley? He’s just an ordinary male Democratic politician. Nothing special about him. Therefore, he is useless in media coverage.
News channels are not broadcast to inform the public. They are designed, specifically, to attract rating, under the guise of education. Terrorism threats, scandals, child kidnappings, weight loss schemes–this are just a few of the myriad methods utilized by cable new executives to manipulate monkeys like us. Ironically, the more we watch the news, the less informed we are. The less informed we are, the more money media moguls make.
Films do well only because of 3 reasons … entertainment, entertainment, entertainment … and I am entertainment- Vidya Balan in ‘Dirty Picture’