Outrage. I told you so. More liberal garbage. Big loss. Network news sucks. Fox rules! Those are the sentiments, or at least some of them, that users expressed following continued announcements and shake-ups within the TV news business: David Westin resigned as head of ABC News, CNN announced that former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s new talk-news-analysis show with conservative columnist co-host Kathleen Parker will be called Parker Spitzer, and CNN again put rumors to rest by confirming Brit personality Piers Morgan will take over for Larry King, starting in January. None qualified as a major seismic event; together, they were more like a series of seismic rumblings just strong enough to make you pay attention.
And so you did. Reaction to Westin’s resignation turned into a debate about the “liberal media,” more politics and ranting than actual discussion about the demise of network news. CNN’s christening of its new talker as Parker Spizter again drew more Republican vs. Democrat, conservative vs liberal name-calling, making the comment section sound more like a WWE press conference. News about Morgan drew nearly 200 comments spanning the gamut from “It’s truly sad” to “That ends it for me” to “I think he’s a great choice” to “The Brit’s are taking over American TV” to “Don’t complain. What if Joy Behar was Larry King’s replacement?”
Your comments inspired us to write a piece about CNN’s new lineup, one in which we wondered if the groundbreaking cable new network had solved its identity crisis and more importantly “who will watch it – liberals, conservatives? You?” Now we’re wondering what you really think TV new in terms of news. Do you rely news for more than sports and weather? Do you think networks should still have news departments? If they were once trustworthy and reliable, what happened? When and how did they go downhill?
Walter Cronkite warned that “in seeking truth, you have to get both sides of the story.” Does Fox do that? CNN? MSNBC? Do Hardball and The Factor make you better informed or just work you into a froth? The answers seem pretty clear. Where does that leave those who want well-reported, insightful news on TV? Let us hear your thoughts on these questions, as well as related topics about who on TV does a good job of delivering the news, reporting stories, making you better informed and filling the role that a free press plays in a democracy, rather than the role a boisterous press plays in the ratings game.