Today, CNN turns 25. To that I say: bah. CNN was once useful.
As we were traveling last week, we spent time in different waiting rooms. One had Fox news on; another, CNN. I had never really seen Fox broadcasts, and haven’t watched much CNN in the past 5 years either. The lack of any kind of actual news on Fox was terrible, and CNN was almost as bad too.
Here are the big stories of the time, in the eyes of Fox and CNN:
- A child managed to climb into a stuffed-toy machine
- A tree climber rescued a cat
- What Michael Jackson wore to court
Fox, for some stupid reason, broadcast in front of a live audience. So, on Fox, we also got to hear what the audience thought of stuffed-toy machines, cat rescues, and Michael Jackson. Let me tell you, it was nothing newsworthy. Fox also seemed to try to turn these non-stories into national partisan debates at every opportunity.
Here are some of the stories of the time that we heard nothing about:
- Changing 200 years of Senate rules (the filibuster issue) (CNN gave this about 30 seconds out of an hour)
- The upcoming votes on the EU constitution
- The trouble facing the ruling party in Germany
- The UK elections
- Continuing genocide in Sudan
Thank you ever so much, CNN, for inspiring two other 24-hour non-news channels. And it is truly fascinating how you have been doggedly trying to remove any actual news from your channel as well.
Maybe in 25 years, you’ll call it the Cable Tabloid Network. It would be more true.