The big news yesterday (or so I thought) was the surprise victory of the militant Hamas Party in the Palestinian elections. This has wide-ranging implications for the region and the world – and since last I checked the United States was still part of the world, I figured this might be something the American media would want to cover.
So what did I see on the major cable news networks last night in prime time?
Oprah, Oprah, Oprah.
• CNN’s Anderson Cooper led with Oprah, her interview with the Pinocchio of authors James Frey and her apology for recommending and supporting a book that contained more lies than a Scott McClellan press conference.
• MSNBC’s Rita Cosby was live and direct about the Oprah “bombshell.”
• And Fox News, the clarion of all things terror? They put together a “panel of experts” for an hour of conversation – about Oprah.
Today I opened my Los Angeles Times to see the Hamas story all over Page One, with in-depth reporting and analysis. Oprah? She was on Page 23 – where the story belonged. Newspapers got it right in print and on their web sites, yet they’re the medium that is dying.
This kind of thing happens so often it no longer surprises me. Television news stopped being about journalism a long time ago. Local TV news doesn’t exist, and with the new “CW” network, we could see at least 100 local stations go dark, further increasing the abyss between viewers and their communities.
No, I am no longer surprised, or sad, or disappointed in the American broadcast news media – because the American broadcast news media no longer exists.