Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toxic News the evolution of Toxic TV?

I was just reading an interesting view on Fox news at the following blog: http://frequentcritic.blogspot.com/2009/08/fox-news-toxic-waste-or-free-speech.html

I can't say I disagree with anything in the bloggers post, but I'd take it one step further in relation to Toxic News. 24/7 and local TV news as two examples seem to have become toxic across the board in chasing ratings. CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews are all guilty of it in my opinion. If they aren't overplaying a 'story' they stoop to essentially creating controversy by playing a poor mans (dumb mans) devil's advocate.

The good thing if there is one, is perhaps there is hope that we only have to endure this for another couple years until it burns out Recently, I've begun to think the relevance of TV has about a 10 year period for fads. What I mean by that is the newest TV concept that seems to develop and hold the headlines seems to last for about 10 years. While it doesn't mean they will ever fade away completely, perhaps this focus on Political ideology will follow suit.

As a reference I site the 90's infatuation with 'trash' TV, not only was their Jerry Springer, we also had Maury Povich, Jenny Jones, Sally Jesse, Rikki Lake, and assorted others that followed in the footsteps of late night Morton Downey Jr antics. Put people on TV that were so unbelievably trashy and then incite them further. After all they really just wanted to be on TV anyway, so take advantage of it. I can't remember the last time I saw a show that seemed to focus on antics such as this, so maybe it's extinguished.

The other reference I'll site is Reality TV, although I admit this sort of breaks theory too, but Reality TV as the big thing seems to be over. Sure there is still reality programming and it will probably be around for awhile (as I expect 24 news channels to be) but even then, there ability to grab headlines seems to be effectively over. I'm sure there will be an occasional show that will still 'shock' us (Rupert Murdoch I'm looking to you), but I think it's going to take something remarkable to do it on a consistent basis.

Whether or not I'm right with this, I have no idea, maybe I'm just hoping (I tend to be fatally optimistic). It would be nice to see a country again where political mouthpieces that have no agenda other then cashing their own paychecks don't seem to dictate so much public opinion.

It's probably a shame that my hope is that 24 hour news/political channels lose their influence instead of hoping for 'true leaders' to emerge that would allow people to put aside the trivial differences and work to get things done.

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