News Clowns versus News Comedy
Why has comic news replaced traditional news in the United States as the main source of news for those born after 1975?
People born after 1975 would have been 5 years old when American's elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. This was the era of MTV and Wallstreet Greed, but it was also the decade in which Ted Turner demonstrated the power of cable news through his creation of CNN. Turner's network rose rapidly by providing opportunities for a video savvy generation nurtured on television. With the destruction of the Fairness Doctrine by the extreme right wing Republican leadership who saw journalistic freedom as a threat to political and economic domination, CNN was positioned to provide real journalism in contrast to normal network news which had increasingly declined due to documented tendencies toward pandering to audience desires lampooned in the movie Network starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Peter Finch.
Destruction of the Fairness Doctrine
The destruction of the Fairness Doctrine heralded a decline of actual journalism in favor of 'infotainment' which replaced the provision of insightful reporting with information management tailored to evoke emotional responses. In contrast to 'yellow journalism' which was often termed 'muckracking' because of its focus on the problems in society, infotainment was geared to entertain and actual journalism was considered a 'Fair Sacrifice' to the God of Profit. By the end of the century, broadcast news had largely degenerated into Infotainment and the provision of local news with light humor. Intellectualism had largely become a pejorative term in the U.S. which was seen as being the province of Europeans. Jefferson's dream of a land of well educated farmers and small business owners was perishing as the American family farms were increasingly replaced by corporate farms pushing Factory Farming as more efficient and profitable. Films such as Places in the Heart (1984) depicted the destruction of the family farm culture and almost 20 years later in 2012 At Any Price appears to show the final decline of what was once considered an essential part of American Culture.
The Rise of the Rationals
Commercial News throughout the world is dominated by 6 major media corporations. For a Brief Period of Time, an American cable TV channel MSNBC was positioning itself to appeal to the rising generation of 'rationals.' This generation of young American born after 1995 are digitally savvy individuals who are likely to be socially hip atheists who favor an intelligent society with opportunity for all.
MSNBC was unable to sustain its bid to capture the younger generation. The owners abandoned long term strategy for short term tactics thereby losing key broadcast staff such as the enormously successful Melissa Harris Perry. In a bid for short term profits, today's MSNBC staff is best characterized by Morning Joe Scarborough clone Steve Kornacki whose predictive abilities have been touted as the means to boost the now ailing network. The cable network formerly positioned to serve the rising 'rationals' still has top talents Rachel Maddow and Lawence O'Donnell but the other anchors have largely appears to have shifted into a 'support the party bosses' mode abandoning their previous growing audience of young millennials and the largely unserved working classes from nurses and low wage workers. Al Sharpton, a cogent intellectual who emerged from the U.S. Civil Rights movement and has been described by President Barack Obama as 'the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden' was moved from his prime time weekly segment to the weekend. These moves have served to confound supporters and confuse audiences as key moderators mentored by major intellects such as Rachel Maddow have been removed and replaced by 'earplug' moderators. MSNBC will most likely continue moving into oblivion as it becomes a lessor mirror of other mainstream media.
Mainstream U.S. Media is largely composed (or decomposed) of corporate news
The death of legitimate news in America can be traced to the consolidation of both local, state, and national news into the hands of the six major multi-national news corporations. Today's news media in the U.S. consistently delivers centrist and extreme right wing pro-corporate propaganda which occasionally strays into actual journalism. Radio news is dominated by extreme right with American Talk Radio. 'Decomposed' of right wing commentators, in conjunction with Abrahamic Fundamentalists, the absence of the Fairness Doctrine has translated to a pernicious influence of destructive doctrines rooted in the pseudo-economics of Milton Friedman and anti-science teachings of religious fundamentalists.
Mainstrean American Media is led by former Australian Rupert Murdock's Fox News / Sky Channel which serves a coalition of extreme right wing interests including: NeoCons, Abrahamic fundamentalists, Teapartiers, Libertarians, Friedmaniacs, Royalists, Oligarchs, Hawks and Hounds. The broadcast news trio of NBC, ABC and CBS still serve a large segment of the American population limited in its access to information, in a nation that fails to upgrade its infrastructure in favor of massive military expenditures. Current figures of U.S. military spending shows that the United States spends almost 600 billion usd which is more the next eleven (11) nations with the highest military budgets in the world. While Swedes can easily access the internet with an average speed of 20mb, the USA does not even place in the top ten nations with the fastest internet access! With Net Neutrality under increasing attack in the United States and a failure of the national / federal government to insure high speed access for all citizens, the USA is increasingly falling behind in this area. In the early history of the U.S., the founders were adamant about the importance of the post office as a vehicle for sharing information and empowering a wide variety of print news. This principle was increasingly suppressed in the 20th Century and despite the founders mandate, America is failing to use the internet to rekindle universal access to information.
Rise of Comic News
With the destruction of the Fairness Doctrine, the concept that an 'informed electorate' is essential to Civil Society became increasingly obscured by the quest of profits. Producers at Comedy Central took notice that millennials were increasingly dismissive of the value of commercial news / infotainment getting their news in bits from a late night Saturday Comedy called Saturday Night Live which featured a fake news segment. A show created in 1996 called the Daily Show was retooled and a new host Jon Stewart was introduced with the show focusing on politics and national news issues. Stewart displayed an uncanny ability to tap into the talents of a diverse group of comedians producing segments that captured increasing viewership with segments that lampooned traditional news while providing insights that were powerful and appealing to millennials. Stewart's talents as a producer supported the rise of super talents such as Stephen Colbert who played a common conservative pseudo-intellectual so well that extreme right conservatives unable to understand subtle humor were convinced that he was real. Colbert's segment was expanded into a separate half-hour production called the Colbert Report which contributed to the rise of comic news as the only viable news for the millennial generations awake to the fact that regular news in the United States is now propaganda.
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