American-made TV news is a dinosaur destined for extinction, a gas-guzzler headed for the museum. America just can’t do TV news anymore. It’s become too big not to fail, like Brian Williams or a ’72 Chevy Impala.
Meanwhile foreign news companies like the Arab-owned Al Jazeera or the Israeli-owned FOX News are outproducing and outperforming all our domestic news networks.
– CNN and MSNBC can only cover one story at a time. Baltimore riots, Bruce Jenner, Charleston killings, Confederate flag removals—these are the only things that happened in June and July 2015. Nothing else was worth covering.
– American TV news retains and promotes the wrong people (Matt Lauer, George Stephanopolous, Brian Williams) and releases the good ones. We hit ’em and leave ’em and Al Jazeera pulls up quick to retrieve ’em.
– American news is too close to its sources and its sponsors. Its sources are law enforcement, the military, and politicians. Its sponsors are the pharmaceutical industry, the Koch brothers, and “wealth management” firms. If you can’t afford to alienate any of these people you have no business reporting the news.
– The rest of the world barely exists in American TV news. Five Americans dying from terrorism warrants five days of constant “coverage.” Fifty foreigners in Goddamnastan dying from terrorism barely elicits a five-second mention in between celebrity diet stories.
– America’s “24/7 news cycle” is really only 18 hours long on weekdays. On weekends MSNBC goes to jail, CNN goes to restaurants with Anthony Bourdain, FOX reminisces about the good old wars, and CNN Headline News shows internet clips and re-runs of re-runs of Forensic Files. Foreigners, however, don’t have the luxury of assuming that the whole world runs on Eastern Standard Time. They’re always on their toes.
– American news manipulators mistakenly believe their own focus groups:
“We Americans don’t want to hear about how bad things are in America.”
Yes we do! We love this fuckin’ country!
“We don’t want to hear about the latest coups and riots in the tiny nation of Upper Baboonasshole.”
In fact, I would have liked to have seen a TV reality show centered around the Buck Naked Brigade.
“We want news stories that highlight the dominant social themes of the day.”
Yeah, as you see them, allowing you to pick and choose the social themes of the day and suppress the ones disfavored by your Sources and Sponsors.
– None—if CNN and the other American networks tried to learn from Al Jazeera it would be like Ford Motors trying to build the Pinto. There’s no hope. You can’t fix a cracked colossus.
Imagine if baseball games were often decided, after 30 innings of a scoreless tie, by a homerun derby–each side getting five or six slow pitches lobbed over the plate to be belted out of the park by the best power hitter on each side. The winner would be the side that hit the most or the furthest longballs. Pretty lame, huh?
Well that’s soccer.
Imagine if American football were often decided, after seven scoreless sudden-death overtimes (following four scoreless quarters of regulation play), by a field-goal kicking contest, each side getting five or six attempts at 50-yards off. Pretty lame, right?
Well that’s soccer.
Soccer is like World War I or the American Civil War after it got bogged down at Petersburg–the defense is too strong. Baseball and American football, however, is like World War II or the American Civil War before Pickett’s Charge–a perfect balance of offense and defense, of linearity and non-linearity, where the difference in talent between the commanding generals is magnified, not erased.
Imagine if soccer were played with a beach ball–big, slow, and impossible to move down the field. You would admit that that would suck, right? Well, soccer is only slightly better.
No sport should be so slow that the audience has the time to sing all the stanzas of a beer song during “live” play.
What’s exciting about the world cup is international competition when your country stands a chance. Chess is also boring to watch, but put some crazy kid from Brooklyn up against a team of evil Soviet geniuses and damn if America didn’t also catch “chess fever.” But we got over it. Real fast.
Hell, if America made the finals of an international competition of tidily-winks or beer-pong I might get interested. But I still wouldn’t play tidily-winks or think that beer tasted good.
Perhaps if soccer fields were marked off not by white lines on the ground but by a six-foot high wall such that that ball could never be kicked out of bounds unless it were kicked too high, perhaps then it might be an exciting sport to watch. Maybe.
After America loses to Belgium tomorrow (sorry folks) no one will be interested in whether Philadelphia beats Orlando by 1-0 or vice versa. It’s too boring and no one has time for that shit.