What Would Walter Cronkite Say?

I was watching a local network television channel yesterday evening when two things struck me as being “not right.” I was viewing the local news in what is the third largest market in the country, when the newscaster segued from a story on child molesting to one telling me what the network would be telecasting later on that evening during prime time. And, he made it sound like it was another topical news story.

Now we all know this has been going on for a while – so I wasn’t shocked. But, I did experience two feelings – neither of them “good.” I felt sad for the veteran news anchor who probably never believed he would see the day when he would promote the network entertainment as a news story. Can you imagine Walter Cronkite being told by network management that he has to tell the nation to tune in for The Biggest Loser or Big Brother 10? What do you think Walter would have told them?

The second feeling was one of being mentally mugged by the network. Networks have increased commercial time to over twenty minutes in an hour program. Now we even have to watch commercials in the actual programming when a person who is supposed to be a news reporter becomes an advertising shill.

Big media thinks the answer to their declining market share is to interrupt us more and more. Years ago my father predicted that network television would become nothing but commercials and you’d pay for each program you actually want to see without the commercials. I used to think he was just being a curmudgeon. Today, I realize he was prescient. It’s called the internet.

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