Ask A Genius 270 – Bi-directional Sensationalism
August 25, 2017
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Both are right insofar as the other side is sensationalist, with or without the facts that make the difference.
Rick Rosner: Yeah I mean the deal the New START TV news started out as a non-profit making thing at the beginning of TV in the late 40s. The FCC said we are going to rent the airwaves to broadcasters for almost nothing. But you the broadcaster’s in return for this which will help you build a thriving TV industry, you were going to do us this favor or not favor you’re going to be a provide a public service of doing national news every day.
So we have an informed population and the news was not a money-making thing it was 15 minutes a night, in 1949 and 1951, I just you know nobody expected it to make money, it was just a thing that the networks did to live up to the terms of their deal with the government.
And then people found a way to make news make money the beginning of that may have been morning news chat shows, on the on the big three networks like Good Morning America, The Today Show, these ended up growing to be three-hour and in one case like I think three or four hour shows, that present the news but present a lot of other stuff and occupy a huge chunk of the day and sell a lot of ads.
And then CNN or yes CNN came along and various profit oriented news programming came along and now almost all TV news is for profit and newspapers struggle to survive news blogs news feeds like Huffington Post and Drudge Report you know, struggle to hold an audience or gain an audience. So yeah all of them engage in a lot of sensationalism and a lot of little tricks to make the news that they’re presenting seem more immediate and more important and more shocking and the whole thing. But if you would go, what’s going on with Trump is shocking where you got a guy who just lies every day. We’ve never had a president like this.
Even the worst other presidents during our lifetime were decent people. I mean you can argue that Nixon was no heart was a horrible person but Nixon still was pretty civic minded in a lot of ways. He wanted to accomplish things in the world to put American in a better position. He did a lot of you know he was psychologically complex, you know developed enemies lists and he was always trying to screw over people and brewed it a lot, but he still believed he believed strongly in America and embraced policies that he thought would make America better and it’s hard to know just what Trump thinks.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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