Sometime within the last couple months I’ve realized that CNN and Fox (and most cable news channels) have become news entertainment.
The reason for this is the increasing lack of education, and general sophistication, of the American TV-viewing population. Most Americans don’t want to think or be challenged; they want to be dazzled. And this translates to ratings being higher for content that provides that.
So when a cable news show has a story about Britney’s boobs, and the ratings go crazy, the people at the cable network take notice. Perhaps there’s a slight sting among the real journalists who work there as they make the move to more soft-core porn and other sensationalist content, but it’s the business people that make the decisions.
I see a theme here, and it’s the same with the sub-prime mortgage crisis, or the lottery, or with exorbitant credit card fees for those with poor credit. There are two primary ingredients for all of these things:
As a society if you fail in both of these areas you quickly move toward becoming a third-world country. If you have greed but no stupidity the greedy will be called out, ostracized, and will die off. If you have stupidity with no greed, you get a paternal hand to guide you back on your feed.
But when you have both the greed feeds off the stupidity. The more stupidity you have, the more the greedy at the top take advantage of it for profit. There are few things with more money-making potential than a mass of millions of people who’ll believe anything you tell them.
And that’s why Fox news anchor women look like porn stars. We as a nation are too stupid to reject the lack of content being presented by news today, and we consume the garbage that’s being fed to us. So we’ll still see “politics” in the headers of cable news, but the stories will have headlines like:
Sex Secrets of a Congressman’s Mistress!
…and people will watch.
Real news won’t go away, it’ll just be hidden on the Internet and away from TV viewers who would just get confused by it–and probably a bit threatened. I say “hidden” on the Internet, but what I really mean is hidden from the mainstream–kind of like books in the library. ::