Over the course of history, the way Americans receive their information has changed drastically. From The Federalist Papers to the Wall Street Journal, printed media has come a long way since our founding fathers started this country in 1776. The invention of television brought us into an era of network news provided by stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS. All of these outlets provided citizens with the news at its purist form. A story was a story; informative and unbiased. However, one form of television news has truly changed the game forever.
With the creation of CNN in 1980, Americans had a 24 hour news feed they could watch on cable any time they pleased. At first glance, the idea seems golden. You can be constantly informed at all times. Yet, with all that air time, something has to be put in the programming. A trend has developed in these all-day news networks that has not been addressed, and I think it is time for a call out.
The news had been increasingly negative for years, I’m sure most of you are aware of this. Nothing gets people going more than fear. Instead of filling the airwaves with something the country can feel hopeful about, we are bombarded with constant messages of crime, terrorism, political corruption, and civil unrest. This is one of the reasons I stray away from the Constantly Negative News. If you were to look at the statistics for the United States as a whole, violent crime has been on a decline for 20 years now. But instead of informing the public that the world is getting better, these channels are persistent in covering stories about mothers that kill their babies and gang violence in inner city slums. Sure, these are problems, but when it is the main focus of programming it begins to appear as though there is an agenda of making sure the public is afraid to leave their homes. Why is there only five minutes of uplifting coverage showing how the strongest nation in the world continues to unite and prevail through tough times? Instead of providing an informative scope of the nation as a whole, the news has become that asshole brother in chapter who can only point out the flaws of something without offering a solution to the problem. It’s no wonder the wasted youth of my generation is so unwarrantedly hyper-critical of everything they see.
What’s even more appalling is the fact that the majority of 24 hour news networks reek of bleeding heart liberal bias. Every time I hear some hipster laugh when Fox News is mentioned it makes me want to pull my hair out. How is it that the one conservative station dominated by a sea of blue propaganda is accused of creating a cult of personality for the GOP? I think the problem is not the media’s general left-wing bias (it’s the media, it will always be), but the inability of the general public to make informed decisions without a talking head on a screen telling them what to think. These days this lemming behavior even radiates into cooler talk about sports. If I had a dollar for every time someone directly quoted SportsCenter as their own opinion, I’d be able to end the recession myself.
The fact of the matter is that the problem is complex. 24 hour news has bread a generation of people unable to form an opinion based on their own beliefs, and this generation now must rely on the very news that created them to be functional in society. As a country, we need to tune out this white noise that keeps chirping in our ears about how awful everything is. WE LIVE IN AMERICA FOR GOD’S SAKE! I can own a gun, I can say whatever the hell I want, and I am protected by the law to do BOTH. If you think this is a bad country, why would you continue to simply sit around criticizing it? Do something about it if you are so unhappy. Watching the news isn’t going to do a damned thing other than continuing this vicious cycle of reliance on pessimism. Make your choices you believe in. Be American.