I have watched CNN over a good many years since its inception. And especially after cable then satellite TV got introduced to the house. In a good many ways, CNN was my introduction to Politics 101 after I left the U.S. Military. But it was also a news media organization. However, in the last year, CNN has been less about news and more as a political attack team. And I am seeing the sort of scream TV that I got a bellyfull of back in the CNBC and MSNBC years of a court of public opinion on the personal failures of one Bill Clinton. Lou Dobbs is in fact at the forefront of pushing scream TV. After braying for better than a year about the need for a government that works, for example, Dobbs should have been plenty shaken up that the American voter would put in place a gvt suffused with freshmen Dems, fewer GOP, reinstate career Dems to positions of power, and put a total unknown at the helm of power. But instead of Dobbs coming out and ranting away at those silly voters for putting together a government that he now detests with abandon; he simply attacks the government that was put into office. Excuse me, Dobbs, forget something? Like this is a Democracy after all.
What continues to get me is that the news media best exemplified by CNN couldn’t do all the screaming and questioning of GW Bush until well into his second term and only after the catastrophe of Katrina. They ceded being viable watchdogs of presidential doings to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” But you wouldn’t have heard about it, unless it was some guy on C-Span discussing exactly why the news media continually drops the ball on critical reporting. That was two years ago or about. The news media that would not ask hard questions about an inexperienced governor and it showed, who became president; they waste no time speculating, second guessing, becoming an echo chamber of the one who has now suceeded him. 8 years asleep at the switch, and now they make up for lost time?
Dobbs whips up fear about second amendment rights. Gun rights wasn’t an issue on his show during the 8 years of GW. It wasn’t an issue when the Dems became a bare majority in 2006. But it becomes an issue when Obama beats out McCain in a fair presidential campaign. And it is the NRA that beats the drum on Obama v the right to have as many deadly little toys as they can stash in their homes. Collected, as someone else might collect stamps. Last year, when Dobbs was on the air discussing the drug wars afflicting the border between the U.S. and Mexico; he whipped up alarm when it came to black market sales of weapons to narco traffickers. This year, it is now a threat to gun rights if the federal gvt tries to ban the manufacture and sale of such weapons. Can’t have it both ways, Dobbs. Last year, Dobbs was pushing the pro-American workforce. That was while GW was in office. This year, he is suddenly Mr. Capitalist who wrings his hands over the gvt that works intervening in the marketplace to bring businesses back to operational capacity and a workforce that can be hired. So today, waking up from a nap with CNN on some dude on Dobbs was yelping that most construction work these days was done by illegal aliens. Who’s fault is that? Try the construction businesses that preferred to hire cheap instead of investing in the people that might after all eventually buy the home they contrusted with their own hands. And a Bush administration more than willing to look the other way. A different dude who was willing to condemn the Dems, but more than willing to take taxpayers’ dollars to buy GM cars. Didn’t see how nicely dressed the guy might be, if the suit he wore would be a nice down payment on a GM car. But if he could appear on Dobbs, chances are he didn’t need taxpayers’ money to buy a car, but that he probably wouldn’t have bought one from GM. In any case, the GOP have suddenly identified themselves (after 8 years) as a party not willing to spend money (now that they are a decided minority). After the second guest dude has come on Dobbs with the intent to beat up on Dems, wouldn’t have gotten a handful of moolah from anyone other than the Dems themselves. Which, as I recall, Dobbs was in no mood to challenge his guest on…
PBS however, provides news and commentary of a most reasoned discourse. “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” provides all sorts balanced opinions from across the political spectrum. There is no screaming, no political lashing out. There is no guy repeating a political attack ad. There is no contributor whining about why GM CEO Waggoner could be “forced out,” but not say AIG’s own executives. No, Gwen Ifil could ask the dude on the auto task force about that very thing, and get a comparison between apples and oranges. CNN couldn’t be bothered, neither could CBS News. But you could get a lot of whining about the current administration between the news staff and the “contributors” about the current administration, but until The News Hour, no one bothers to actually ask any member of the administration itself. Which they were, incidentally more than happy to do when it was one run by the GOP. CNN leads the way these days in particularly juvenile behavior. You don’t get news, you get locker room behavior.