The New News

Thanks to Geoff for directing me to Slate’s commentary on the showdown between Ted Koppel and Jon Stewart. Normally, I avoid Slate like the plague — hello, it’s a Microsoft publication — but this time I made an exception. Go give it a read.

I wish I’d seen the confrontation myself (I haven’t been able to find it online). But where I will disagree with Slate’s assessment is in the notion that The Daily Show presents any less accurate a view of the news than traditional news outlets. Are they investigative reporters? No, of course not — they’re just pulling their information from television and newspapers like the rest of us. But unlike traditional outlets, they’re not nearly so eager to accept the “spin” vomited out by overtly partisan sources (on either side of the aisle).

I don’t watch network television news. Ever. I do read the Post, listen to NPR, and check out the Reuters reports, but television news? Sorry, I’ve long since given up on it — if they’re not parroting some Duh-bya party line, they’re trying to scare us with some bizarre little threat that applies to maybe four people in the entire country while completely ignoring actual news.

Cable news I’ll sometimes watch, but even then only if I need immediate information (an area in which television still holds an advantage). But the old “big three”? Let’s see, which gigantic corporate entity do you want filtering your news? Viacom, Disney, or General Electric? Thanks, I’ll stick with Jon Stewart.


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