News channels more often a sad sort of entertainment

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A year ago, I was with my father on my way to Fayetteville when I stopped at a Chili&squo;s in Columbia, S.C. We were seated, and I was facing a large television blaring the sound of a 24-hour news channel that I will not disclose. As I was sitting in my booth in Chili&squo;s in South Carolina, the news anchor told me a breaking story she thought I really needed to hear (isn&squo;t that the job of the news, to inform us of what we need to be informed?): There was an ongoing car chase in Miami, FL.

It seems as if when the media isn&squo;t promoting a point of view instead of the news, it&squo;s just there to entertain and attract more viewers. There have been countless times I&squo;ve turned on a news channel and seen cops chasing a car in some remote location, as if that has anything to do with anybody else than the people on that road.

Another popular news item is celebrities, and they especially like to milk the excitement out of celebrity deaths. Don&squo;t get me wrong, I was crushed when Heath Ledger and Sean Taylor passed away, but they dedicated entire hours to their deaths. Recently, Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. If one of you reading this passage were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the news channels wouldn&squo;t care whatsoever. I feel for these losses, but other people die every day and get no recognition, nobody cares. It appears that networks and CNN and FOX News think that celebrities are more important than regular people.

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Most 24-hour news channels should just merge with Entertainment Television (and MTV should drop the Music from their name.) The best way to swing the media towards your perspective is to censure it for being biased towards a perspective opposing yours. For example, if I claimed that MSNBC has a liberal bias, they may try to include some conservative perspectives to balance out these assertions.&bsp; On the other hand, if I declare them being conservatively biased, they&squo;ll include liberal information. Bias occurs not only in views expressed in the newsroom, but also by the selection of stories to cover.&bsp; If we de-privatized the media, then the government could censor views that were deleterious to governmental figures. How can we fix these news channels? I&squo;m not sure if we can even fix them at all because bias is inevitable.