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Okay, just one

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johnhattan

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Okay, I'll tell you about my latest invite to be on Fox News. Mainly because it's funny in a really desperate sort of way.

If you follow Fox News at all, you find that they're really terrific on beating meaningless news stories to death rather than dealing with actual news stories. Early this year it was that sorority girl who disappeared somewhere in the Carribbean. Then it was the Michael Jackson trial. Basically they'll flog any kind of non-news, especially if there are problems in the administration.

The latest is the "war on Christmas". If you watch any of the news commentary shows they have, you'll find that lately they can't shut up about the tendency to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" or something nonsectarian like that. This is certainly nothing new --nonsectarian holiday greetings have been popular for decades. But Fox News needed to avoid talking about how about half of the Bush administration is either under indictment or is facing indictment, so they're pretending that department stores just started preferring "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas" last week.

Anyway, the call I got from Fox News was in regards to the Plano TX School District banning Christmas shirts and/or colors. I hadn't heard of it, but my initial impression (that I made clear to their news-guy) was "boy, that's stupid". He was genuinely surprised that I didn't consider the banning of wearing red shirts with green pants to be a great victory for secularism and that I had no desire at all to tape a segment with Bill O'Reilly (or some other party shill) in which he'd scream at me for ten minutes as if it was my idea.

. . .and yes O'Reilly doesn't do his interviews live. There's too much risk that interviewees would mention the hush-money that he recently had to pay to a staffer so she wouldn't release tapes of him talking on the phone with her while he flogged his bishop. If anything fun or unflattering to O'Reilly does happen, you can bet it won't make it on the air.


What was pathetic, though, was that Shelly looked up the Plano thing to see what the news-guy was talking about. Turns out that the whole thing happened LAST YEAR.

Ya know, this kind of desperation in manufacturing controversy is the kind of thing I'd expect of a small-town newspaper, not a 24 hour television news outlet run by a multibillion dollar media conglomerate.

I'd always taken the "Fox News sucks" stories with a grain of salt, as I'd never really seen much difference between the competing cable news outlets, and I get all my news nowadays from RSS feeds. But when cable news calls you up to explain to you how genuinely lame they are, you just can't ignore it.
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There is little difference between any of the 24 hour cable networks. They all manufacture news to take the heat off of their own "side". Money. But Fox News just looks like a bunch of unprofessional ass badgers to anyone who's got half a brain cell when they do it.

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Wow that's sad indeed.

I only watch CNN Headline News and CNN Headline News Prime, they always have good stories that are worth hearing

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From what I understand most of these live(ish) shows on cable news are done that way. The thing that suprised me is that they actually edit what people say to fit their conclusions. I've seen several places where people made what they felt were good points to find that they don't make it on the air. They only thing that makes it is the stuff that makes them sound stupid/aggressive/whatever.

Basically the format shows of cable news have the integrity of a John Edwards show.

My favorite news trick is when they get a high official or a head of state on the news, ask them a question, let them get 10 seconds into the answer and then cuts them off because they have run out of time and need to goto commercial.

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Yeah, when I watch news, CNN Headline News is my show of choice too. Mainly because it repeats about every 15 minutes so you don't have to wade through a pile of pointless banter to see what's happening in the world.

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Unless it's the evening where they appear to being going the MTV route of redefining themselves out of their core business...

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