How Long Until Someone Just Kills-Off Their TV Newscast?

Such a macabre thought for a media person and professed news junkie, but I want to know how long it will be before a major television station just simply kills off their television newscast.

Surely I can't be the only one who finds these things completely unwatchable. Nothing about them fits with the way we consume media this day in age.

Anchors on television getting paid to weave in and out of stories that other people put together seems completely out of date. Although necessary, I'll admit, on the live television broadcast for transitioning between the stories, that's the entire problem with television news. 

On the Internet, I get presented with story links, and I choose which of those stories I want to read. When I click the links, I have both written word I can scan, and video I can watch, all at my choosing. On television, I have to watch the stories they've chosen for me at their pace, and in the order they want me to see them.

As for the stories themselves, information moves so fast this day in age that it's almost 100% certain that whatever they bring you on the live, televised news is something you've already had the chance to learn about somewhere else. Stick around for the sports and weather? I can get the weather forecast from my weather app, AND check the sports scores I'm interested in, before you're even halfway through a commercial break.

Communities need news organizations, and they need more than one to help them compete. I'm not knocking the local television stations as journalism organizations.

But as a consumer, I simply have no need for the live newscast that comes on at a certain time on my television set, and surely I can't be the only one. 

I really do wonder just how long it will be before some station, somewhere, once considered to be a major player, will just kill off what used to be their bread and butter completely.

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There's Never Been a More Important Time for Truth in Media

In the wake of the Trump takeover, the big push among the media over the past week has been concern over the "fake news" that dominated Facebook over the course of the 2016 campaign, and they are right to be concerned. Misinformation, in any form, is a terrible thing. It causes people to make uninformed decisions and only divides the country further.

But the media isn't blameless when it comes to fake news. The public consumes fake news because the media has lost credible voices.

Everywhere you turn in the media, it seem, the loudest voices are those pushing for an agenda rather than trying to find the truth. There has never been anything wrong with having a worldview that shapes your reporting; in fact, you can't have good journalism without it. But our media culture is one today where story lines are chosen to fit particular agendas, and realities that don't fit those story lines are discarded. The reality on the ground isn't as important as advancing a point of view.

I see it in the liberal media on websites such as Slate who freak out over every move that Trump makes, and I mean everything. Don't they know that when everything is an outrage that nothing is?

I see it in the conservative media when nothing, I mean nothing, that Barack Obama does can be considered good. They couldn't even let the man defend a pro-Trump protester at a Democratic rally without spinning it as him losing control of the crowd.

The media that is created as a result of all this is pure crap, and it's killing our country. Liberal and conservative ideologies are fine if we could just have some basic intellectual honesty when tackling the news and issues of the day.

Intellectual honesty - that's really all we need to help us get back to finding truth. Why does it have to be so hard to find people in the media who have it?

Those voices, while few and far between, are out there if we'll just pay attention to them. Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, is trying to be one of them. I hope I'll hear from some others. 

But part of our problem right now is that, for many, we simply don't want to listen to them. We want to be mad at our neighbors. We want to hate the other side. We want to talk and we don't want to listen.

It's a phase we're in. Sometimes it feels like it's going to last forever. I hope like hell it doesn't, and for my part I'm going to do everything I can to help us get back to finding truth in our discourse, because there's never been a more important time for truth in media.

Peace and God Bless America.

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My F**king Facebook Feed and the Need for More Honest Conversations

My Facebook feed just won't shut the fuck up about this election. I'm fully aware that I'm part of the problem but God, Almighty, is this the way it has to be forever?

I was a Never Trumper, and I'm proud of it, but the liberal fringe has become completely unglued over this thing. I voted for Hillary, too, as part of what I felt was a principled vote-like-it-matters, one-of-these-two-will-be-president stand. But the truth is she totally deserved to lose, and hysterics from the left certainly aren't going to endear anyone to their future cause.

And before you Trumpers reading this cheer what was just written about the liberals, please know that your gloating is just as horrible, that everyone knows your guy actually finished second in the popular vote (perhaps because of his small hands, perhaps as a stand against assholism), and that your win, while satisfying, hasn't made anyone actually respect you more.

We're going through one of those phases where everyone wants to be validated. I get it (I'll refresh analytics on this motherfucker more times than you can count to see how many hits it's received), but my, God, we've turned into babies. I recognize that if you're a liberal, you're grieving over an America you no longer recognize, and that if you're a conservative you've been completely maligned by the media over the years.

How could I not when my Facebook feed won't shut the fuck up about it?

Watching Obama meet with Trump for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised to see two grown ups in the room. Full-of-shit grown ups, perhaps, but grown ups just the same.

"My guy was the grown up, at least," some will respond, refusing to give an inch to the other guy because political disagreements in today's America are cause for dismissal of everything else about the person.

And thus is the state of our conversations today. So goddamned unproductive and so utterly dishonest.

The media is part of the problem, and not because of a lack of objectivity. Truly objective journalism is dead on arrival . It can't uncover any underlying realities because it can only cover what's on the surface. Think of the police protests of the past couple of years. You could cover simply the "police said this, protesters said this," which isn't entirely without purpose, but it takes passion and a worldview to probe the angst that either side feels. 

What is not fine is the media's lack of desire to find the truth. Partisans on both sides latch on to story lines. Realities that don't fit those story lines are discarded, then they promote what they decided as the story line as being the reality everywhere. It's crap.

But our state of affairs is not simply a media problem. Their schtick works because we the people buy it and consume it - it's not Budweiser's fault you have a six-pack of shitty beer in your refrigerator. 

We read only the crap that reinforces our worldview with the full knowledge we're shutting out dissenting opinions. We share things that reinforce our side or tear down the other side, no matter how blown of proportion they are. Surely we know that the swastikas spray painted on the side of buildings aren't indicative of every Trump supporter, or that the looters protesting the election results aren't indicative of everyone who voted against him, yet we readily share it with the primary purpose of painting a negative caricature of the other side. 

Our conversations aren't honest, and are therefore unproductive. That is what has to change. We have to change the media we consume, and we have to change the dialog we have. It's great to have our individual worldviews and to share them with the world, but just as importantly we have to be open to the realities of others and we have to be open to truth.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

Peace and blessings. Let's be productive moving forward.

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You CAN Still Fight the Good Fight for America

It's the evening of the first day after the loss. I hope you took some time this morning to process the enormity of what just happened. Our country is going to hell in a hand basket, I know, and the terrifying possibility of a Donald Trump presidency is now a terrifying reality.

But the sun did, in fact, come up again this morning. It was actually a pretty nice day.

Lick your wounds, process it, perhaps get blasted with your friends if that's your thing, and blow off some steam. Get it all out of your system.

Then get back out on the streets and focus on making the world a better place.

We’re not the first generation to have the Boogyman come into office. I’ve often wondered what it was like in 1968, in the face of so much social upheaval, for a progressive thinker to watch Richard Nixon win his election in a landslide. It must have felt like a punch in the gut. Now I understand it more than I’ve ever wanted to.

The Silent Majority that elected Nixon, however, didn’t shape our current society nearly as much as the progressives of their time. The free-spirited were still able to come together at Woodstock in 1969. Feminists succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, and the anti-war movement got us out of Vietnam in 1973. 

To shape the future, you have to build it, and the Nixon voters who put him into office weren’t so much about doing something as much as they were about saying we’re going too far, too fast.

That was the sentiment then. It’s the sentiment now.

So many of us this past election, on both sides, spent so much energy campaigning against someone that we haven’t spent much time thinking about what we’re for. So many were for Clinton because they were against Trump. So many were for Trump because they were against Clinton.

But the results are in and that chapter in history is closed. Now is the time to redefine what happens next and where we want to go from here. The shape of our future is still left to those who will actually make the effort to shape it.

And I hope that’s what you do.

I hope you’ll take a break on focusing on the politics of personality and focus for a time on the actions that will move our country and world forward. I hope you’ll do it with an open mind and try to include even those who voted in a way you find despicable.

I hope you’ll do it in a way that even includes an open mind about Donald Trump.

I’ve never written about it, but I’ve often wondered about it, when it comes to trying to determine just what the mission, or charge, is of the younger generations of Americans just now rising to prominence in our country.

With our nation and world seemingly more fractured and hate-filled than ever, I think we found it watching those election returns roll in on a Tuesday night.

Our mission, as a generation, is to fix it.

To My Trump Supporting Friends

It's 11:10pm here in the middle of America. I've all but checked out on the idea that this is going to go how I want it to. Call me a pessimist, but my gut tells me that Trump has the upper hand. He's already won Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. If he wins Michigan it's over, and things aren't looking in Hillary's favor there.

For most of you, it will be after this is called that you read this. If you're a Trump supporter, I suppose congratulations might very much be in order, but frankly, it's much too early and raw for that. Thanks to you and people like you, you elected to office a reality-television character who used veiled racism and bullying to work enough people into enough of a lather that this is the man who got put into office. 

They say time heals all wounds. Forgive me if I say I'm going to need at least one more shot of Wild Turkey (in honor of the late Dr. Thompson, of course) and at least a night's sleep to not hate you.

Forget the grab-em-by-the-pussy bullshit. Trump was right when he called it locker room talk, and there isn't a guy out there who hasn't said something like that privately. It's not right, but we've done it. And no, I don't necessarily believe a bunch of women when their first accusations of sexual assault occur nearly simultaneously just weeks before an election.

It's the public stuff that bothers me the most. Questioning John McCain's heroism. Branding Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers. Mocking a disabled reporter. Complaining about a former Miss Universe's weight. Attacking the family of a Muslim soldier who fought for the U.S. military. Questioning whether a judge can be fair to him because he's Mexican. So many more examples you can't name them all.

There's something to be said for inappropriate comments made only in private. They might not be right, but there's at least some sort of acknowledgement that they are, in fact, inappropriate.

Trump is different. His public comments show a complete lack of respect, or love, or empathy towards anyone who's different, or anyone who isn't a part of his crowd. It's THAT that makes him different. Your candidate, the one you chose to put in office, will take down or tear down anyone if it gets a cheer from the crowd or gets him further ahead.

It doesn't matter if that person is disabled, or if they lost a child to war. Maybe you didn't applaud, but you still gave him your vote. 

You can say what you want about Hillary Clinton (and there is plenty, plenty to say), but she hasn't left entire groups of schoolchildren wondering why she hates them. Kids know a bully when they see one. My 9 year old certainly does, and Donald Trump was the last person he wanted to see in the White House.

So, you got your win. I know it feels good, sometimes, to be a part of the majority. You might have felt like people like yourself had been kicked to the curb one too many times, and it probably felt good to send a fuck you right back to those elites - those people who thought they were more powerful than you who you felt were kicking you while you were down. 

I get it. I really do. Just don't forget who your guy kicked to the curb to send that message. It was more than just the elites, and don't be surprised if they aren't quick to forgive when everyone wants to move on and be friends.  

Get my latest ideas delivered straight to your newsfeed. I'm a blogger & podcaster who writes about business, media, politics & life. Learn more about me here, then keep up with my latest work by getting my newsletter and liking on Facebook.