If cable news disappeared tomorrow, who would notice?

By | December 4, 2021

Jack Shafer writes:

How did the cable news networks become our main stage?

Nary a day goes by without somebody saying something stupid somewhere on cable that ignites a national uproar that seizes the news cycle for days. On Wednesday, Tucker Carlson praised the journalism of Infowars fantasist Alex Jones on his Fox News Channel show, and that sparked coverage in the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, HuffPost and elsewhere. Earlier in the week, the someone saying something stupid was Fox Nation journalist Lara Logan, and her venue was Fox News Primetime, where she directly compared Anthony Fauci to Josef Mengele, the Nazi war criminal who conducted ghastly medical experiments on the prisoners at Auschwitz. Drenching coverage poured out of every media orifice and continues as Logan spiked the outrage with a pinned tweet further accusing Fauci of medical wrongdoing. (An Associated Press fact-check, as if we needed one, absolves him.)

And while he doesn’t occupy the same realm of stupid as Carlson or Logan, misbehaving CNN host Chris Cuomo continues to thrive in the media limelight thanks to his suspension. Cuomo isn’t as stupid as he is vacant. I defy you to cite anything memorable he’s ever said beyond his “Let’s get after it” catchphrase, yet the press has papered his scandal with endless op-eds and news accounts. [Continue reading…]

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