Nightly TV News Shows cannot afford to be controversial / by kevin murray

Nightly TV news shows cannot afford to be truly controversial.  They can't afford to run cutting edge news programs with information and with details that tell their viewers the actual truth and lowdown of corporate, government, and justice policies.  Why?  There are several reasons why this is true, for instance, TV news shows are dependent upon not just having viewers, which is a given, but on advertising dollars, and those dollars most often come from corporations that will not continue to advertise on a TV program which is critical or too insightful about their business or their business actions, whether directly or indirectly.  It is a truism that the man with the money, has the power, and advertising dollars will flow more often to TV news shows that are in conformance with the desires of the advertisers and not the other way around.


Additionally, and somewhat disappointedly, many people in the viewing audience do not want, nor do they desire, true cutting edge and informative TV news programs, mainly from their total apathy, as they basically tune in to these programs, to pick up on entertainment gossip, sports, soft local interest stories, weather, feel good confirmation stuff, and dirt on whomever has fallen recently out of favor.  TV news programs are only too willing to follow a predictable and routine pattern to accommodate their viewers to which rather than learning something of real value, would rather just have their basic values affirmed, rightly or wrongly.  This is all well and good for your nightly TV news reports because they rather just preach to the choir, and have little interest in any controversial fare that could upset not only most of their viewers, but also surely their advertisers.


This in a nutshell means that news reports are pretty much out of the business of breaking real and meaningful news.  Back in the heyday of commercial TV, the big three of ABC, CBS, and NBC, would broadcast video of the Vietnam war, Watergate, civil rights, and other current affairs with real significance and some controversy, but today's same media outlets are always and invariably behind the curve, so that if any of today's big four (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) should show video or pictures of the Iraqi or Afghanistan wars, or domestic police violence, this is done not in order to break news, but in order to catch up to what has already be disseminated through other media outlets.  So that what we essentially get today, are broadcasts of events or actions in which the networks will invariably spin the pictures or video into a carefully worded context that fits into the desired story that the networks, which are all massive multi-media corporations, want to impart to us in a manner in which we will understand that at the end of day, you're OK, we're OK.


It cannot be emphasized too greatly that today's TV news reports companies are all beholden to advertisers to which without them, and the rates that they charge advertises, they would essentially have a broken business model.  Also, each of these multi-media corporations must answer to their stockholders, their stock promoters, their Board of Directors, to which the objective is always, to "make their numbers" so as to maintain and to increase their stock price and, if applicable, their dividend.  The making of money is always foremost in mind for these news shows with controversy, truth, and cutting edge reporting as their nemesis.  They want instead to impart to us that while bad things do happen, it's just temporary, or an accident, or a misunderstanding, or a mistake, and it's all going to turn out just alright, then they will flash a big pearly smile, and say something like "now a word from our sponsors".