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CLINGMAN: Tattle-Tale TV 'News'

James Clingman | 5/21/2014, 3 p.m.
Quite frankly, I detest most of the so-called news now because it's nothing more than political one-upsmanship and "gotcha" reporting. ...
James Clingman

I used to like to watch the news on TV. In the morning I could check it out before my day got started, and in the evening I could get an update on the day’s occurrences before going to bed. Not too much of that going on now. Quite frankly, I detest most of the so-called news now because it’s nothing more than political one-upsmanship and “gotcha” reporting. Much of it comprises a tattle-tale mentality among totally biased commentators rather than real news journalists and reporters. The sad part is that Black people suffer the most from this charade of useless information by folks who couldn’t care less about anyone except themselves and their political agendas.

Somewhat reminiscent of the 1976 movie, “Network” today’s news shows mimic the main theme of that movie: Desperate measures to increase ratings. As a matter of fact, the writers of “Network” unknowingly predicted what our news shows would look like today. Watch it and see what I mean. Networks suffering from low ratings resort to parody, accusations, hypocrisy, innuendo, half-truths, and character assassinations to increase their ratings, all at the expense of their lemming-like viewers. What do they use to accomplish this? Politics, of course.

The two worse culprits are MSNBC and Fox, the dueling ideological networks. Of course, the old guard network news shows, ABC, NBC, and CBS are also lowering their standards more and more as well. Seems they are more into entertainment and shock value than simply reporting the “news” in an unbiased manner.

We have come to a place where news is nothing more than just views. And each one of us should do what Howard Beale did, open our window and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” But that won’t happen because we just love political rhetoric so much. We see millionaires arguing over political ideology, and we suck it up like it’s a delicious milkshake — empty calories and no substance.

Before finishing this column I made myself watch the “dueling networks” one night. MSNBC carried nonstop shows denigrating Chris Christie and his George Washington Bridge scandal. Of course, that is an effort to tear down a leading GOP presidential candidate for 2016. On the other hand, over on Fox, they were constantly haranguing the Democrats’ leading candidate, Hillary Clinton with the manufactured Benghazi issue.

The evening is filled with diametrically opposed “views” on politics, which they want us to believe is real “news.” MSNBC is hopelessly in love with Barack Obama, who can do no wrong in the eyes of their commentators; Fox hates Barack Obama, and anything he does is lambasted, lampooned, and vilified.

Hypocrisy abounds. The most egregious is Fox News’ outrage over the four lives lost in Benghazi, the lies they say were told, Hillary’s responsibility in the matter, and calling for a full investigation to prove their point. All of this while failing to do the same thing during the Iraq war where over 5,000 lives were lost, lies were told by Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Colin Powell, and no one was held accountable for ignoring the daily briefing papers that noted an airplane attack was highly probable.