News is noise

Published on Oct 15, 2020

I have been watching a Showtime series called The Loudest Voice in the Room that centers around the rise and fall of the former CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes. It is interesting to watch a depiction of where Fox News came from and how it changed the landscape of cable news and by extension broadcast news. For the longest time, the mantra has been "if it bleeds, it leads," and things have only been getting worse. It is getting more and more difficult to get straight facts from any news source without some sort of spin or commentary. 

A case in point is the scheduling of dueling town-halls today for President Trump and Vice President Joe Biden. After Trump's COVID diagnosis, the Commission on Presidential Debates decided that the second Presidential debate would be virtual. Trump immediately backed out of the debate, and Biden's campaign decided to move forward with a solo town hall scheduled for this evening in primetime on ABC. This week, NBC announced a solo town hall with Trump also scheduled for this evening at the exact same time as Biden's town hall. It should be noted that NBC is the network that aired The Apprentice.

Now, of course, these town halls will be available on-demand after they air, but is this really in the best interest of informing Americans? People will have to make a choice, and now the headlines will be about the ratings instead of substantive issues. I don't have sympathy for news organizations and journalists because they are not holding up their end of the bargain with the duty to inform the public.