11 January, 2009

Goodbye CNN

I love watching the news. It gives me a feeling of being abreast with the rest of the world, even in this small college town. And while I would often watch Fox News for entertainment, I would of course turn to a more reliable and trusted source for real news, CNN. Until today.

Turns out that there is a special CNN and even a special BBC for America. In the true spirit of the market economy, Americans get exactly the news they want to hear. So in the same bulletin you have 700 Palestinians (or Hamas or whatever, who cares) being bombed (Anderson Cooper has flown to Israel to report on this)... but wait Anderson wants to talk about Obama's new dog, and then Scientology, and then the Porn Industry asking for a bailout (oh, just kidding). Let's discuss Casey Anthony's expressionless face but, wait, Suzie Orman wants to tell me to start saving money. The strangest thing is that no one will find this strange at all, because no one has seen real news for a long time. So while the world anxiously watches a crisis get worse (breaking news, minute-by-minute updates), Bush relaxes in Texas and America watches football, unaware of its power to sway things one way or another. Now I understand why many years ago as I sat on the ground in front of the TV very late at night watching tanks entering Iraq, horrified, Americans didn't use their power to question and change things. They just went with the flow. For once, I agree with Sarah Palin.

The sad thing about the current crisis is that there is no mention of the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas into Israel over a long period of time (oh they must not have killed a lot of people at once, and so it's not newsworthy), and there is no mention of extreme human rights abuses in a war that may threaten the future of the world. People on opposite sides have selective knowledge of the issue and that is why it is so polarizing. It's reading period in America's #1 University (it's still #1 in my eyes okay!) and the overwhelming attitude about the Middle East: don't know, don't care.

Some of the countless great things about America are the freedom of speech, respect, and the peaceful coexistence of diverse peoples. It is important that America reach elsewhere for its news and get rid of false advertising and misleading (alternately euphemistic or overly dramatic) news/entertainment. The internet may be the answer. Those who seek the truth shall find it.

I really should be writing that paper about the art/architecture of Gordon Matta-Clark and Vitto Acconci, and another one about the confrontational art of Andrea Fraser.

No comments: