Network newsI have been watching the network news for a long time, going back to the 1960s, with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC and Walter Cronkite on CBS. For you not from the US, these were legendary journalists.

Currently, I watch two network news programs. And by “watch”, I mean, record to view afterward. The reason? Commercials, the majority of which are for medicines that must be prescribed by a physician. They’re for all sorts of ailments that I didn’t know I had or that even existed until I saw the ads, diseases generally designated by initials.

First I watch CBS News. They used to have a solid anchor, Scott Pelley, now 61, but he was pushed out after six years for low ratings.

After an interim period, he was replaced by Jeff Glor, a forty-something guy with a boyish face from upstate New York. But the real change is now, at the top of the broadcast, they summarize the news in 60 seconds so you don’t actually have to watch it. And the network is still in third place.

Then I watch the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. He was the weekend guy who replaced Brian Williams when Williams was suspended for six months for “misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003.” I usually zap through the first half of the NBC news unless they’re covering a different story. They tend to differentiate more after the first commercial.

I gave up on ABC News years ago. It was my go-to network when Peter Jennings anchored before he died in 2005. But by the time Diane Sawyer was in the chair, the network was telling me what was trending on Twitter. If I wanted to know what was trending on Twitter, I’d have gone to that platform. I’ve not seen the broadcast since David Muir took over.

I watch other news and read other sources, and here’s why. Some people don’t believe the news at all and don’t watch. I have a healthy suspicion, so I watch/read a LOT of it, including a variety of online versions of the print news. I feel that, as a librarian, I cannot NOT be informed.

Arthur wrote a post which linked to a video, Why obvious lies make great propaganda. Hint: it wasn’t, initially, about DJT. He also cites an article, How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News, and it’s totally credible. I’ve recently spent a good amount of time with such people; intelligent, basically kind, and believing things that were demonstratively untrue.

For ABC Wednesday

7 Responses to “N is for watching American network news”

  • fillyjonk says:

    I generally prefer to read my news these days, but it does strike me that, at least in my opinion, news started getting worse (in terms of sensationalism and how it’s transmitted) once newscasters decided they were minor celebrities and wanted to insert themselves into the story.

    The Weather Channel seems most egregious at this to me. I remember when they were JUST weather and some nights when I had insomnia I’d get up and stare at the weather maps on the tv, the slow reporting of the movements of fronts and thunderstorms, and it helped. Now half the time (and ALL the time after 7 pm unless there’s some kind of major emergency going on in a high-population area), it’s not weather, it’s some dumb reality show that is at-best tangentially weather related.

    And yes, I get that some of this may be the pressure of the Internet and the fact that I can go to and find out all I need….but sometimes, when I can’t sleep, it’s nice to have a talking head slowly discussing cold fronts in Montana or something.

    (There does exist something called Weather Nation, that is like the Weather Channel of old, but I can’t get it on my system)

  • As a rule… I always try to avoid any news in no matter what kind of media. It makes me worried/sad/mad even some times… because it always is negative news, sensation sells… besides the fact that I always wonder about the leavel of truth. If I want to know something I ask people who know about it (who I trust) or search online to see how many I can find that agree …

    So… I don’t know anything about your topic 😉

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  • CGHill says:

    It wasn’t always thus, but apparently the network-news flagships have the oldest audiences in all of television, and advertisers buy space accordingly.

  • Anita says:

    True, Roger. I like to follow the news.
    But, I realize that these days “news” has a agenda too. Propaganda is accepted and truth is suppressed. “Fake News” sells and is lapped up!

  • I’ve been disappointed with network news for a long time, probably since the 1990s. Sometimes I think the late night shows hosts opening monologue offers more meaty news. That’s just wrong.

  • Junieper says:

    In my school years I used to watch the news, but not anymore, once I understood that to be fair I would have to watch several stations to get a rounded out view – too much time involved! But it’s a great N-word:)

  • Another informative post ~ tend to read the NY Times vs TV ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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