I somehow missed the media blitz surrounding the latest addition to the farce that is television news (Sorry Jim, I mean the others). I’m talking about “The 1/2 Hour News Hour,” the latest addition to the Fox News lineup.
I wanted to leave the editorializing on the content to the professionals like Tom Shales, but I must point out the heinous anti-ACLU propaganda contained in this show’s version of SNL’s commercials.
As a matter of full disclosure, I am a former member of the ACLU. It is a great organization, but Tony Romero’s leadership has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, hence the former. Nevertheless, Fox’ attack on the ACLU’s defense of both the first and fourth amendments is ignorant and repugnant. It plays to the most base of society, the unthinking hordes that consume television news pap and regurgitate it to their friends and family as though it were fact. This is how we end up in a world like ours. This is how we find ourselves in the domestic political turmoil surrounding us today.
These people are, of course, the bread and butter of TV news; lest we forget that TV news is a business, not a public service. Oh wait…how did they get those airwaves? Wasn’t there some consideration given for the public’s air? I know, I know, I am mixing my metaphors, going from cable to broadcast and back again, but Fox does own local broadcast affiliates, too.
I started out with a point here. What was it?
Oh yes, back to Tom Shales for a moment. If you read his review of the show, there is no mention of the fact that this “satirical look at the news” is on a “news” channel, with the Fox News logo spinning on-screen throughout. Shales’ “style columnist” status precludes him having an opinion on important matters like the state of journalism. But it wasn’t just Tommy boy that didn’t comment on this. Slate’s reviews (1, 2), the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Enquirer, even my beloved Onion A.V. Club, all fail to mention this fact. These reviews were all written by “style” types. Do the newsies not care about this?
Is it simply that Fox News is such a joke that nobody considers it a viable hard news outlet anymore? I don’t believe this to be true. In fact, I believe there are many out there who consider it the ONLY viable hard news.
So what is it then? Are these media outlets so punch-drunk that they no longer care about the disappearance of the very thin and all-too-porous barrier between news and entertainment? Am I just an overzealous defender of an ideal that is long dead?
For now, I’m banking on the former for no other reason than my sanity.
Correct me if I am wrong. See you in the comments section.