I have mostly kept my boycott of TV news, except I've caught some Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and the BBC. Also, cable news if often on at the gym, and I catch a bit of CNN, FOX or the business channels. Except for Olbermann and Maddow and the BBC, I have to say that the folks on the cable news by and large don't seem to know what they are talking about. The guests they have on are no better informed, either. Most of what passes for political discussion is about as enlightening as listening to the old farts swapping lies down in front of the hardware store or in the barber shop.
Why is this so? Do American viewers simply demand vapidness and stupidity? They don't seem to have a whole lot of choice since most of the networks feature vapid and stupid all day and all night. Is it because of the way TV "journalists" are created? Perhaps the vapid and stupid select themselves for careers in TV news, or their guidance counsellors steer them into that profession.
I knew a lot of Communication majors in college. Many of them aspired to TV news careers. Not one of them was any kind of genius. They interned at the local network affiliates or the then infant cable news networks. After school, the lucky ones got jobs in small markets as TV correspondents, weekend anchors or weather readers. If they were photogenic and shameless, they might get into a large market and, if they were really vapid and stupid, into national news.
Look at the hugely successful TV news stars. Chris Matthews? Britt Hume? Kudlow and Kramer? Not a genius among them. David Gregory, a huge wanker without the sense God gave a duck, is getting a big break.
Walter Cronkite would roll over in his grave if he were dead.