Like Chris Hedges, I can't identify the precise moment when TV news died. I know it began to die the first time a talking head news reader said "We'll be right back after these messages."
All news is now celebrity news. Barack Obama and John Boehner are celebrities who don't always get along, like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. War is like a football game, and reporting on Afghanistan concentrates on whether we should "pull out now" or "hang in there and get the the job done," which makes it sound a lot like sex.
Although it's hard to fix the exact moment TV news died, the excommunication of Phil Donahue in 2003, along with the exorcism of Bill Moyers at PBS, signaled there was a corpse in the room.
"The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television," Chris Hedges groans, "who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script." So Brian Williams reads only those stories he knows his bosses at the General Electric corporation, one of the biggest war profiteers incidentally, would approve. Even more importantly, he omits those stories he knows they wouldn't want people to know about.
So if Bill Kristol and the rest of the superhuman crew at Fox News were totally wrong about the Iraq War, and if Tommy Friedman was totally full of shit about the triumph of corporate-driven global prosperity, why are people still buying that stuff? For the simple reason that when you turn on TV nooze, that's all there is -- some guy in a suit and his bottle-blonde-with-a-rack sidekick peddling "the ideology of the corporate state," as Hedges puts it.
It's just like going to Safeway; people go there and buy too much fat and too much sugar and too much salt because that's what's mostly available and always on sale. Then they go home and while eating their Tater-Tot™ casseroles and Sarah Lee™ pound cakes, are simultaneously fed bullshit by GE, Microsoft, Pfizer, and the Boeing Company.
I've got to the point now where I don't own a TV, don't want one, and write my own news, using sources like Chris Hedges, al-Jazeera, and my two eyes, one of which has a cataract that needs to come out, for which I have a doctor's appointment today.
Because you don't know the real happs if you can't see things clearly.