The News Thursday Night: Next Gen Media News Nightly Network News Review


No Lance Armstrong news? Nothing on the flu? You mean the US national nightly network news shows — ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News — are not going to tell me that there are two flu strains and the vaccine doesn’t work for everyone but I should get it anyway, again?

Wait. All three networks are leading with foreign news from Africa?

What happened? I mean, there’s no way the nightly news leads with a story in Africa unless … unless … uh oh … something bad happened to Americans. That’s apparently the only way you get Africa news in the US. Unless it’s about a hopeless famine or threatened animals.

The networks can’t get their story straight on Algeria. CBS anchor Scott Pelley has four Americans freed as breaking news. ABC reporter Martha Raddatz tells us senior Pentagon officials told her five. Only NBC has a reporter in Mali, Rohit Kachroo. Kachroo says that the people of Mali are welcoming the French, happy to see Islamists attacked. No word on how they feel about the third military force in the Mali conflict: the Tuareg. Why the separatist Tuareg, who the Islamists are fighting, are never mentioned in the network news coverage of Mali is uncertain.

NBC does remind us that reporter Kachroo is the only one from a network on the ground in Mali. This is Hell! will have a live report from the Mali war this Saturday morning. Funny how we can get a live report from Mali but CBS and ABC cannot.

CBS reporter Mark Strassman does the story on the Centers for Disease Control and how they are not allowed to do research on guns. Didn’t I see this story last night on The Daily Show? Which one is the fake news?

NBC reports that the number of Americans dying from cancer has been dropping and fast for the past 20 years. But the story says it’s not all good news. It’s not that the number of cases of cancer is dropping but that early detection is increasing. Yes, it would be ideal for cancer to just disappear. However, I don’t see this as bad news. Less deaths to me means good.

ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser tells us about a terrifying problem: waking up during surgery but being unable to communicate with your doctor that you are completely conscious. Sounds horrible, right? This must be happening a lot for Dr. Besser to report it, especially when the World Health Organization announced yesterday that dengue fever may become a global “pandemic.” I mean, this must be big news. This waking during surgery must occur regularly. Guess again. Besser tells us that it happens one or two times every 1,000 surgeries. Yup, that’s bigger news than a new PANDEMIC!

Earlier tonight, ABC did this story on the housing market coming back. Their angle was one of “next gen” homes. What makes them so “next gen?” The homes have in-laws. You know, a separate living space within your home for your parent(s) to live in. That sounds a lot more ‘past, past gen’ than ‘next gen.’ Of course, the old ways of living with your parents are becoming the new normal in declining America. I’m really looking forward to learning how to darn socks.

CBS has a different take on the current housing boom. It’s not that families are building bigger homes to accommodate their elders. It’s that banks have opened up credit and have returned to approving ‘jumbo mortgages.’ These mortgages lend over $410,000 to borrowers. Right before the bubble burst, 25% of mortgages were jumbo. Remember how everyone was buying a wasteful McMansion that was out of their price range? Once the bubble burst, banks wouldn’t give out jumbos any more, and I believe they were also limited by the government. Therefore, the percentage of jumbo borrowers dropped to around four percent. Now, they’re back up to 11.3%.

Clearly, ABC’s ‘next gen’ housing phenomenon could not have happened without CBS’s jumbo mortgage expansion. ABC, culture isn’t changing housing: the market is.

It’s always important to remember that what the networks deliver is not THE news. It’s THE MEDIA’S news. It’s not what’s important to you or I, but it’s what’s important to THE MEDIA. Because of their technology and ability to disseminate messages, they convince their audience that THE MEDIA’S news is THE news. It’s not. In THE MEDIA’S news tonight: Michelle Obama has a new haircut, Notre Dame linebacker Mant’i Te’o's inspirational dead girlfriend was a fake, and Dear Abby died.

In fact, all three networks ended with Dear Abby dead. Michelle’s haircut, Te’o's fake girlfriend and a dead Dear Abby … that’s the kinda news THE MEDIA wants you to follow.

Here’s what they don’t find to be important enough for their news: another Homs massacre, more Iraq bombings, Kenya’s coming vote trouble, NATO military leaders were not in on US Afghan pullout plans, Pakistan ‘revolution’ leader demands talks with president, Indonesia’s rainy season keeps killing, and some guy was fired for revealing questionable superstorm Sandy spending.

Conspicuously missing is NBC not covering the Sandy fraud claims. Anchor Brian Williams has been reporting two, three times a week that Sandy relief has been excruciatingly slow. Yet, defrauding disaster funds gets ignored?

The news began with a foreign news story on Africa, something you never see. NBC then skipped a Sandy story, something you never see.

Something’s happening on THE MEDIA’s news, and it makes me uneasy.