Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Film at 11 (and it ain't pretty, people)

According to a 2009 poll, this is the most trusted news anchor in America:

Jon Stewart. A comedian. A comedian on a self-admitted fake news show.

Cronkite and Murrow must be wondering if they dropped acid before they died and this is the resultant hallucination.

Now, it was a non-scientific poll, but 44% of the respondents declared a comedian to be their most trusted news source. I hope journalism schools around the country are taking a long, hard, look at their curriculums. (I also hope they’re seriously considering rescinding a few of those degrees. Dear dog, have you watched the “news” recently?)

The sad thing is that I’m in that 44%. I gave up on getting any news of substance from the major networks a long time ago. And those 24-hour channels are simply talking to hear their heads rattle. Not one of their anchors would have passed my 101 class, because their logic and reasoning (and their penchant for hyperbole) does not resemble our Earth logic and reasoning.

Two things (among many, I know) that I can’t stand are hypocrisy and stupidity. (Ignorance is different. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not shameful . Stupidity, however, is. The stupid should feel shame. Lots of it.) And if there’s anything Jon Stewart will take apart with glee, its stupidity and hypocrisy.

That’s probably why people find him a trustworthy source. While it’s obvious he has liberal leanings, he will skewer every stupid hypocrite regardless of their political party. I’ve seen him decimate Sarah Palin, go to commercial, then come back and slice the Democrats apart with the same vigor.

And exposing the absurdity is what’s entertaining (in a strange, sick kind of way).

Stupidity, hypocrisy and corruption run rampant in politics (and the world in general, sadly), and folks shouldn’t be surprised Jon Stewart’s Daily Show (and its spin off The Colbert Report) is so popular. After all, stupidity, hypocrisy and corruption have been the meat-and-two-veg Blue Plate Special of satirists since Chaucer.

You know, it would be nice if the “real” news shows went after the hypocrisy half as often (much less half as well) as Jon Stewart. We’d probably be a much better informed country. The fact Jon Stewart does it mostly for laughs is kind of sad.

It’s a strange, strange world we live in, people.

So, are you a "Big 3" news fan (ABC, NBC, CBS)? Or a cable news junkie? What about the local news? Does anyone even read the newspaper anymore?


Jane said...

I love Jon Stewart and I do find him more trustworthy than most who claim to report the news. I used to watch Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight and I still watch the local news on channel 7.

Maven Linda said...

I read the newspaper every day. But the Big Three networks? No. Not at all. I do a lot of independent research, especially when I read something with those deliberately misleading words "might," "may," "can," and "could," which always sound the alarm for yet another manufactured crisis. Yes, the sun "might" explode, and I "might" sprout wings and fly, but I'm not betting on either one happening. That isn't news. That's flogging the ratings.

On the other hand, I've never seen Jon Stewart or Colbert, either. I'm old. I need my sleep :-).

Cheryl said...

I, like Linda, read the newspaper but with the caveat, everything is slanted according to the writer's philosophy and political leanings. Jon Stewart is hilarious and he says things that I sometimes think myself. I am one of those journalism majors (degree awarded in the Ice Age) and my professors would commit suicide if they saw the news today - not from the news but from the way it is written and delivered. No one tries to be objective any more - it has to have a spin. I find myself looking at a lot of different news sources on the internet to become more educated and less swayed by other people's opinions.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

We watch one of the big three now and then, but I keep looking at the DH and saying, "Uh, that's not news." It's as if the definition of news has changed. It's no longer a report of facts, but of suppositions and opinions and the dreaded spin. Like Linda and Cheryl, I usually end up doing research on my own if I want to know the truth. I no longer believe anything I'm told.


gigi said...

I watch the local news, Good Morning America and I check in with CNN.
I also like to watch BBC Americas World News. I get a different perspective from the Brits.

Playground Monitor said...

I used to watch Jon Stewart because I agreed he gave the most unslanted version of things. Now I read most of my news online at various sites and occasionally one of the cable sites. I only take the paper on Sunday (for the coupons).

Back in the day I was a Walter Cronkite fan all the way. I loved Walter.

Julie Miller said...

My hubby reads the newspaper every day--it's his quiet, relaxing time.

I, however, unless he points out a story to me, rarely read it. I find I get most of my national/world news off my home page on the Internet. I do watch local news (mostly for the weather and local sports) most evenings on TV.

I can't remember the last time I watched a national network newscast (maybe in relation to the winter Olympics?). I'll sit down and watch FOX News or CNN if my hubby has it on late night. Sorry, I'm not much of a Stewart of Colbert fan--but that's mostly because I don't watch that much TV period, anymore.

Interesting poll, though. Shows there needs to be either some entertaining hook, or a definite political slant to draw viewers.

catslady said...

I recently gave up on the newspaper but I go to sites online, watch CNN the most and the main 3 channels especially for local news. I agree about hypocrisy and then stupidity. People don't want the truth, they just want to hear someone tell them what they already think. I love to debate but it's pretty hard when most people seem to be so closed minded. And don't get me started on intolerance (big sigh).

We just had unexpected guests for a week and one was an 18 yr. old boy - all he did was text and watch Springer, Maury Povich and there is another one too that I can't remember the name - sad, sad, sad.

robertsonreads said...

Yes, I read the paper. I watch my local news and in the mornings I catch HLN Robin Meade.

Smarty Pants said...

I try not to watch the news, period. If it isn't on the yahoo home page, it hasn't happened. I prefer gossip. Like the regular news, it's ridiculous, but it makes me laugh instead of cry.