CNN's ratings-led switch to bad tabloid TV

As the world burns—massacres in Egypt, civil war in Syria, a train disaster in Canada—CNN occupies itself with inane human interest fluff and wall-to-wall trial coverage delivered by the migrainous Nancy Grace.

Thing is, it's a ratings hit. Jay Rosen says he used to criticize CNN because he cares, but no longer cares at all. Sid Bedingfield puts it more succinctly: is it time to just give up on them?

Next on CNN: Anthony Bourdain shows you how to make Cairo-style coupcakes!

Previously: CNN fakes satellite interview with two anchors in same car lot

Notable Replies

  1. CNN has been TLC'd.

  2. I stopped watching all TV news a long time ago. The best way to get the truth is to read the news on the Internet from a variety of sources with a variety of view points. That is the power of RSS.

  3. IFB says:

    So much for the idea that the marketplace produces better outcomes. When it comes to news (which should be boring and not sensational), capitalism is a poor and inefficient model which is driven by the need to generate eyeballs for profit, not serve the public interest. To do so, they have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. That's why the quality of reporting from non-profit organizations such as the BBC, NPR, PBS, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, Real News, the Guardian and others are vastly superior (and yes, stultifyingly boring). True, some of them have problems of their own and the news consumer should always be aware that no source is entirely free of bias.

  4. CNN is indeed often terrible, and I cringe at many of their choices. But despite my initial reluctance, I watched a few of the Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown shows and found them to be incredibly high quality television. There was a show the other night where he was travelling on the Amazon (or the Congo, I can't remember which) meeting people and exploring the culture and history there and it was fascinating. Another recent show from Libya was interesting as well.

    Yeah, most of their news personalities I can't stand anymore, although I do respect Christianne Amanpour and Fareed Zakharia. I especially can't stand that Tom Foreman guy who always does the things with the 'virtual spaces', and some of them come across as sleazy and self-promoting like that Andrew Cuomo.

    I far prefer to watch MSNBC for opinion journalism; especially Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. Yes I know they are biased, but they are clear about it and I feel like they are genuine people with valid informed opinions and personal integrity.

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