The news as we now get it

My voter’s ID card lists me as a Republican. I made this choice years ago to make my then business partner nervous. He was a political gadfly in the Republican Party, and I wanted him to worry if I’d vote for him.

Today my politics are all over the map. My conservative friends think I’m a liberal and vice versa. To keep it this way, my daily routine includes lots of cable news/opinion shows. I watch some FoxNews but more MSNBC which belies my conservative veneer.

As part of our brave, new world, we have dozens of cable news channels with 24 hours in every day and a relentless need to fill American’s flat screens with product. Their program hosts are more like celebrities than news reporters, i.e., Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann. Their plans worked, and we have sharply divided political camps, dedicated cable stations and their biased spokespersons as moderators.

During Bush’s administration, each camp either slammed everything he did or blindly supported him. Who does what now has reversed with Obama in the world’s hottest seat, but the game persists.

These shows are filled with how their guys do nothing wrong, and the other guys do nothing right. It is unflattering to our electoral system when they robotically line up and do their rehearsed face-off. But they still do it.

Watch the Sunday morning news shows and instead of following the messages, learn to pick up on how they’re playing the game. Keep an ear open for trendy buzz words concocted at late Saturday caucuses and passed down to the troops. You’ll hear the same words or phrases used by different team members on different shows. Instead of using individual thought, each player is expected to hit the mark and run the table with the preassigned punch list message.

Instead of providing news, cable TV news shows are now stages for rehearsed talking points.

Today this is how they present our national leaders and top issues to us.

We deserve better.

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