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Cable News & The Alabama Tornadoes: Faux and Imbalanced
by John Bishop,posted Apr 28 2011 11:18AM
It's been awhile since we've posted something here, we need to fix that......and here is something else that needs to be fixed.
Our cable news outlets are a collective joke. If you are a right-wing, Tea Party nut-job you love your FOX News. If you are a tree-hugging, pansy liberal kook you love MSNBC. And I don't know who loves CNN. That's the impression I get these days by watching these cable "news" channels. It is not totally fair to categorize these networks this way, but it is easy to understand why many are frustrated by the programming these channels provide.
Last night's non-coverage of the horrific tornado outbreak in the southeast provided another shining example of why it would not hurt my feelings if we shuttered the buildings from which these networks broadcast and rent them out to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.
Here you had the perfect storm (pardon the phrase) for "If It Bleeds, It Leads" television. A LIVE event captured by countless local television stations in Alabama as a tornado tears through a large city causing massive death and destruction. Yet none of the three major cable channels bothered to switch away for more than 30 or 60 seconds an hour from their usual crap (in Wednesday's case, non-stop harping over the Obama birth certificate story or the Royal Wedding.)
If this had been a shooter inside a mall or school where video is hard to find and usually contains long distance shots of the building and people standing around, we would have had wall-to-wall coverage complete with psycho analysis and speculation into the shooter's background. Last night it was hand-fed to the networks with no need to ask your anchors to speculate. It's happening right in front of their dadgum faces! Yet they couldn't bother. Heck, just bring up one of the local Birmingham television stations and carry their coverage and it's even easier still.
Instead we hear Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Rachel Maddow blow non-stop about the biggest political non-story of the last 10 years, the Birther controversy, while Piers Morgan is interviewing a cross-dresser (at least he/she looked like it, I didn't stay on CNN long enough to watch for the graphic) about the pending Royal Wedding.
We knew last night (thanks to the Weather Channel) that this was going to be a storm that caused massive loss of life. Now Thursday morning, the death toll is nearing 200 making this one of the top seven deadliest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. Even more significant, NONE of the others on the top 25 deadliest in US history list happened after 1955 meaning it is the worst since the advent of Doppler radar and advanced warning technologies.
But if you watched cable "news" last night, it was just another night in Dixie.