Can Television Personalities—Media Personas–Even Have Personal Histories?
When 24/7 cable news channels were introduced, it seemed as if the great promise of television as a tool to educate the citizenry was about to be realized. Some optimistic prognosticators envisioned day-long series of reports like those presented on Edward R. Murrow’s See It Now or CBS’s 60 Minutes. Perhaps those prognosticators should have looked more closely at what else was on television. Perhaps they should simply have known better.
Put aside that the news channels don’t provide news 24/7: that is, put aside the non-news programming that now appears on all of the cable news channels—from Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown that is broadcast on CNN during primetime to the endless prison documentaries that air after primetime on weekend nights on MSNBC. Still, the most astonishing and paradoxical thing about the cable news channels is how little of the air time is devoted to actually reporting news and…
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