...So, I'm readin' one of the linked stories on the departure of the Olbers-Man (you realize this totally confirms the rumor that Comcast is run by orcs, don'cha?) and there are commenters referring to his program and others of the same ilk as "news."
They're not alone; I hear folks on the right refer to Mr. Limbaugh's offerings as "news," too.
Folks, they ain't. They're commentary. Opinion. Entertainment. That's how they're logged, too; stations and networks keep track of how much Actual News they dole out, how many minutes of commercials, how many public service announcements and so on; it helps when their license comes up for renewal or when they get to playing the dozens with the competition. Way Back When, brilliant essayists like Harry Reasoner got their five minutes a day on the radio and it got logged as....Entertainment. Just like the Frank Sinatra and Devo records and the Whacky Wake-Up Show.
We used to have a host of 'em, mostly men, who wielded typewriters and microphones like scalpels and engraver's points; we had Buckley on the Right and Gore Vidal on the Left, at least, guys who composed on the fly in their own pedantic battle rap and if I thought they were both wrong on a lot of things, at least I knew what they thought. Their invective was a rapier, not a poisoned bludgeon, even when they were on the verge of fisticuffs. All that's left now is Vidal, who could still whip any ten talking heads at Scrabble, having spotted them the OED. Yeah, I loathe his politics (etc.) but I'll still sit and listen to him talk -- because he can put words together, the right words, properly assembled. Attractively, even. If he wants 'em envenomed, he uses the better grades of venom for the job and applies the stuff with precision.
And we haven't many left who can do that. MSNBC dumped Keith Olbermann, hooray -- and so what? --My concern is, what're they gonna replace him with? (Clone Chris Matthews before his own bile dissolves him from within?)
PS: You want stupid venom on a broad, broad brush? Noam Chomsky says U. S. Republican midterm success means The End Of The World! Great. Let's get t'lootin'! Idiot.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago