These days, I get my news from Jon Stewart. I'm not going to be proud or ashamed of this, it's just the way it is. My general stress level is down, I think (I used to also get my news from Bill Maher, but we decided against premium cable in the new house because there was still never anything on). Oh, from time to time, I'll lazily scan the New York Times, but I feel like if anything truly important happens, someone will be sure to tell me. Crap, that's a lie. I listen to 1010WINS in the car but that is only because metro fm radio stations are such crap. If it's really important, I feel like 1010WINS might mention it.
I bring this up because, after his traditional holiday hiatus, Jon is back, filling me in on the things I've missed. The Daily Show pokes a lot of fun at Fox News and I generally laugh along, but it's the laugh of the uninitiated. Because, I've never watched Fox News. Never. To be fair, I've also never watched MSNBC. When I really need a fix, my channel has always been CNN, and one of the reasons I no longer watch television news is that CNN has turned into such utter crap, I no longer have the time to sit through the 55 minutes per hour of lame prattle in order to discover the 5 minutes of news. I guess if it was really important to me I'd watch BBC International news, oh, but wait, the Cablevision Suck Monolith does not think I deserve BBC channels.
So, here's the thing. Do the commentators on Fox News actually behave the way they do in the Daily Show clips all the time? Does Glenn Beck make it a habit to fake choke up and cry on air when he laments the end of days we are living through? Really? That's almost commendable. Grown men crying is certainly entertainment. But, do the viewers who agree with him (for the moment let me not judge them) think he's real crying, or do they understand it is fake crying and are ok with that because it's fake crying to prove a point? Cause his acting acumen might be sub-Peter North (shout out to my college roommates - you know what you did).
I do have concerns, though, about my newspeople making a habit of ostentatiously emoting, though. Will this bleed into news I might watch? I can't really get behind Tom Brokaw or Brian Williams or, even Wolf Blitzer breaking down in the middle of a newscast. Now, if I understand correctly, Glenn Beck's show is not a newscast, more of a (hell, I don't even know how to categorize it - frankly all the cable "news" shows are confounding. What are they?) newsy program, so perhaps he can get away with things that anchormen could not, but then I guess I would ask for the cable news networks to hire, well, actors. My feelings on having actors be president (not with any decision-making power, mind you, just the speaking figure-heads for the shadow government; cause actors can read off scripts well, project their voices, seem interested and engaged) are well known, but perhaps we need them to deliver our news, commentary, and newsertainment as well because at least their feigned righteous indignation would seem real.
1 week ago