AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

“It Takes 15 Minutes to Get the News”

A friend of mine left that comment on a comment thread on Facebook and I just shook my head. And then got aggravated. Which led to the following back-and-forth discussion:

I think it is very important — nay a DUTY — for all Americans to take at least one hour of EVERY day to (1) spend time doing something they enjoy in order to keep themselves relaxed and happy and (2) spend time staying up-to-date with current events in order to keep themselves informed.

“It takes 15 minutes to get the news. the rest of my time I’m destressing and doing things I like.”

That said, I think all the “news” channels are a complete waste of time, including Fox News Channel. They are absolutely the best of any “news” organization out there, but that is not saying much, since the bar is set so low.

Personally, I have not watched “news” on TV since the summer of 2004. I get all my news and political commentary online from all the different blogs I read. I am better informed than pretty much everyone I know. Do I understand everything? No. But at least I am informed about it and can talk intelligently on all current events of the day.

The problem with any TV “news” channel is that they cannot possibly cover any story properly, giving all the facts and context. That’s why I do all my research online and find all the facts and all the context for each story out there.

Honestly, I think people waste their time watching anything “news” on TV. The blogs are where you get the facts and context. TV “news’ is all sensationalized [and geared toward what they want you to know, not what you should know about any given issue or topic].

*****

15 minutes? You’re joking right? You can get surface details of the news in 15 minutes, sure. But I would hope you would want more than surface details of complicated issues and news stories?

“I know nothing of [her] knowledge of world and current events and this is not aimed specifically at [her], but sadly most Americans get their ‘news coverage’ from The Daily Show and Letterman. Most news channels are shills for the appropriate side they want to take, but I do agree that Fox is as balanced as any out there – even though it leans right with its evening commentary shows. I sat through 20 minutes of Olbermann a few nights ago and thought Bush was still in office as he continually trashed the former President – I guess when your own ‘guy’ isn’t doing much these days, the ratings for trashing Bush is still good enough to draw a million college students.

*****

And yes, I agree that the internet, when properly filtered can be an excellent source of in depth research on the events of the day/week. News shows deal in sound byte journalism and even for the expert that is a difficult arena to articulate a point within.”

“News shows deal in sound byte journalism and even for the expert that is a difficult arena to articulate a point within.”

Exactly. And I don’t care what the issue is, it cannot possibly be explained properly and thoroughly in 1-2 minute soundbites, which is all these “news” shows offer. Even their “interviews” of “experts” last one “segment” long, which ends up being about 5-7 minutes, if that. What that forces the “experts” to do is try to dumb down the info in order to get it explained within a couple minutes.

If that was the best way to explain things, then there would be no reason to have classes in school last 30-45 minutes. We’d simply have teachers or professors teach for 5 minutes on a subject each day and then move on to the next one.

Obviously, that is not the case, for good reason. So why anyone thinks they can be fully informed by watching dumbed down 3 minute soundbites on complicated issues, is beyond me.

*****

And the 15 minutes thing is pretty much the equivalent of asking one’s kid what they did at school today, and having them run down “we learned about science, math, english comprehension, spelling, history and had gym”. Okay, well that’s the news right there, but there are no details. So, the good parent presses further and asks “what did you learn in science today… what did you learn in math today… what did you learn in english today… etc etc etc”. And that takes longer to explain, of course.

Same thing with the TV news. What they do is tell us the subjects in their allotted time, but they rarely tell the details.

For example, a former Obama-loving, Lefty friend of mine told me she didn’t vote Republican, because she said they didn’t fund her area of work (social work, foster kids). I brought up S-CHIP and asked if that was what she was referring to. She had no idea, she just said the GOP was bad for her issues. And it’s typical. Don’t know the details, just the surface.

*****

Just to finish, I researched S-CHIP for her, sent her all the details of why the GOP and Bush were against the Democrats’ proposed S-CHIP bill, also included the details of her State’s version of S-CHIP, details of the corruption of the program, details of the Democrats’ ridiculous standards in the bill and increased spending… and then sent all this info to her in 2 separate e-mails, asking for her feedback on this issue, since it seems it was the one thing most important to her in determining her political voting. She never responded. Pissed me the hell off. (which is a big part of the reason she is a *former* friend)

But that’s what I find with most Leftists and so-called “moderates”. They don’t know squat about the details of anything, just know surface stuff about issues.

*****

My friend (to whom I referred in my previous two comments) asked me what I thought about Sarah Palin back during last year’s campaign. I went through all her background and accomplishments as Mayor and Governor and her successes in the energy industry and said I was very impressed with her. I spent about 5 minutes explaining everything I knew about her background and why I supported her and was impressed.

Ya know how she responded to me? “And she can see Russia from her house!” In a condescending, snide laughing tone. That was the end of our conversation. She — and people like her — really piss me off. They get off on being condescending about their political opponents, but they know jack squat about any details and get their news from Jon Stewart and SNL. Pathetic.

*****

Oh and then of course, they turn around and call me a radical and ridiculous, simply because I am informed on the issues and take time each day to stay up to date and informed. Yet they — the ones who spend about 15 minutes a week getting their news, ya know, cus they’re just so above it all — deem themselves to be “normal” and sane for being ignorant and uninformed except for what they watch on the Obama media or SNL or The Daily Show. It used to piss me off. Now I just don’t even bother with people like that. They want to be apathetic and ignorant. Fine. But they’ll get no sympathy from me when they whine about the consequences of a government about which they deemed was not worthy of their time to stay informed.

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June 11, 2009 , 9:22PM - Posted by | Liberalism, Media Bias

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