January 3, 2019

Above, in 2011, Jeff Zucker bragged to a Drexel University audience about outbidding ABC for "The Apprentice."

"I understood who and what Donald Trump was because I was from New York and I understood that he was just a one-man-wrecking-publicity machine. Even it the show wasn't good, he was gonna say it was good. And you know, even if the ratings weren't great, he was gonna say they were great."

_____

The Death of the Media: Because It’s Already #2016Redux

I want to start this with a screengrab of a 2017 NYTimes Magazine article, "CNN Had a Problem. Donald Trump Solved It.":

Cable news (and others, but mostly cable) immediately air Comrade Prznint Trump’s mewls, bleats, and dithers in full, often live; in the 2016 Goat Rodeo, they even broadcast long segments of his empty podium while waiting for him to appear rather than covering Clinton’s speeches.

In 2016, CNN notoriously gave the Russian Usurper something like $2B Ameros of free publicity. Zucker’s comment above is so cynical that I cannot help but notice that CNN is already doing it again.

Yesterday CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all aired uninterrupted, 30+ minutes of Trump lying, rambling, and babbling. And then breathlessly repeated the lies and asked their powerhouse panels what they thought of the lies. And then they repeated the lies, debated the lies, and did everything but inject the lies into the veins of We The People.

CNN aired the Russian Usurper’s dissembling unedited, which gave him a massive platform to lie to the entire country.

Some news organizations (if you can call Fox News, well, news) still broadcast every Trump rally live, sometimes from beginning to end, and almost all of them broadcast Trump’s lies without challenge, have “powerhouse panels” with blown-dry blowhards pontificating in the shoutiest way possible that Both Sides Are Just As Bad. This isn’t news and for the love of dawg, this is not analysis. It is Zuckerism.

We are less informed because of Zuckerism. We are dumber because of Zuckerism. Zuckerism is hurting America.

I understand the hunger of the 24-hour news cycle that cable teevee faces, but this is a place where our technological progress is absolutely setback from our broadcast networks. The old-school, broadcast networks must wait until the nightly news came on; it gives them time to reflect, check, and contextualize the news.

So Cable Networks, lemme ask you this: why not wait until reporters, fact checkers, and subject matter experts can review video of these Trump-induced idiotic wastes of time, let them report whatever relevant parts that might exist, and add context for viewers like us before rushing to broadcasting bullshite?

Come’on, do it for us.

Crossposted from Mock Paper Scissors

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