US cable news (1980- ) means US television stations that show news 24 hours a day. Since the 1990s there have been three main ones:
Fox News (1996- ): owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, based in New York. Hard-right Republican.
CNN (1980- ): owned by Time Warner, based in Atlanta. Centre-right.
MSNBC (1996- ): owned by Comcast, based in New York. Centre-right Democrat in 2014, but moving to the right since 2015.
Trump-o-vision: In March 2016 they have all become, in effect, mouthpieces for Donald Trump – and he is not even president! Yet.
They cover Trump way more than anyone else, even though Bernie Sanders, say, has just as much support among voters nationwide. That imbalance reached parodic proportions on March 15th 2016: while Bernie Sanders was giving an election night speech, cable news instead showed Trump’s empty podium, waiting for Trump to give a speech (pictured at top).
A mile wide, an inch deep: Yet despite all their coverage of Trump, they never seem to find time to, say, ask him for his long-form birth certificate. Or nail him on his alarmingly thin knowledge of government and foreign affairs.
The CNN website according to Google:
- “Obama’s lack of experience” used 480 times.
- “Trump’s lack of experience” used 1 time.
even though it is Trump who had never held public office before running for president.
They are not informing but entertaining.
That follows from their business model: they make money from running ads. The larger (and more well-to-do) their audience, the more they make. The same is true for newspapers, but cable news appears on television, an entertainment medium. They are up against stuff like reality television.
Donald Trump, himself a former reality television star, is television gold, at least by cable news standards. So they not only show him all the time, they are afraid of getting on his bad side. They need him more than he needs them and it shows.
Truth: In 2012, well before the Trump Era, those who watched the fake news show “Colbert Report” on Comedy Central were better informed than the audiences of any of the three cable news stations. Not just Fox News, but CNN and MSNBC too. And now MSNBC employs known liars, like Rick Tyler, a former Ted Cruz spokesman fired for spreading lies on Twitter, and Brian Williams (pictured above). How is Williams even still on television? What does that say about MSNBC?
Diversity: According to a 2014 study by FAIR, 84% of those invited to speak on cable news were White – as if they were stuck somewhere in Idaho, or the 1960s.
- Islamophobia: Muslims are scary.
- Black Brute stereotype: Blacks are scary.
- Black pathology: Poverty is a Black thing.
- Broken Africa stereotype: Africa is a hellhole, coast-to-coast.
- White gaze: White people who can afford to buy new cars matter most – their lives, their concerns, their viewpoints, their missing women.
- Horse-race politics: elections are best understood through opinion polls. Issues are so boring!
- Retired generals – who are in the pay of weapons makers.
- Blind Zion – Israel can do no wrong.
– Abagond, 2016.
- The press
- 2016 election for US president