The State of Cable News Explained in an Anecdote

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

So last week I did a very brief segment on a we’ll-keep-it-unnamed cable news network. While I was chatting with the producer on the phone before the show, she read me the copy they were going use to introduce me to be sure it was correct. It was just a little bit off, so I offered a change in wording, suggesting they use the phrase “Nanny State policies” instead of what she had prepared.

Her response was pretty amusing. It’s from memory, so this isn’t an exact quote. But her response went something like this: “Oh no, we don’t use that word. We’ve found that when we use the word policy our viewers lose interest, because they think something boring is coming. So our anchors never use that word, and we try to tell our guests not to use it either.”

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16 Responses to “The State of Cable News Explained in an Anecdote”

  1. #1 |  John Jenkins | 

    What this means is we need an exciting policy theme song to wake people up and get them excited for all the riveting policy talk that is com……….ZZZZZZZ.

  2. #2 |  Greg N. | 

    Next time you should ask to be called a “bad ass mother fucker.” That’ll wake ‘em up.

  3. #3 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    So last week I did a very brief segment on a we’ll-keep-it-unnamed cable news network.

    uhhhmmm…
    I think you just named it. At the very least you just named a Cable News Network.

  4. #4 |  Danno49 | 

    ““Oh no, we don’t use that word. We’ve found that when we use the word policy our viewers lose interest, because they think something boring is coming . . .”

    Or maybe they think they’re going to get a sales pitch for insurance. Hey, who wouldn’t lose interest?

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    That must be the reason they never use the phrases Social Security and Medicare when they’re discussing the country’s coming financial meltdown. Oh, wait. I forgot. They never discuss the coming financial meltdown.

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    so there’s EIGHT words you’re not supposed to use?

  7. #7 |  TGGP | 

    What phrase were they going to use instead? “Nanny state laws”?

  8. #8 |  Mike H | 

    I’ve always suspected it wasn’t the viewers who were causing the news to ‘dumb it down’, but the brain-dead focus groups they put so much damned faith in.

    At least the lady was honest.

  9. #9 |  Kolohe | 

    So last week I did a very brief segment on a we’ll-keep-it-unnamed cable news network

    I’m pleasantly surprised. I thought the state of the blogosphere was to promote the snot out of one’s TV appearances.

  10. #10 |  Nando | 

    The problem with most people is that they confuse what they see on cable news networks for news.

  11. #11 |  HtownGuy | 

    Anyone seen Idiocracy? Although I think we’re dumbing down faster than Mike Judge could have predicted.

  12. #12 |  Mike Healy | 

    I saw Idiocracy. It hits way too close to reality to be funny. I found it to be depressing. And you’re right, Htown, we are way “ahead” of Mr. Judges prediction.

  13. #13 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Anyone seen Idiocracy?”

    No, but I saw Yvette Mimieux as an Eloi in “The Time Machine”.

  14. #14 |  Kevin | 

    Well, “policy” does have three syllables, why burden the audience with so many when the words “stuff” or “thing(s)” can be used and save everyone two syllables.

    The easiest way to dumb down the population is to treat it like it already is dumbed down.

  15. #15 |  Danno49 | 

    “Anyone seen Idiocracy?”

    I did. It’s got electrolytes!!!

  16. #16 |  On Cable News | The Agitator | 

    […] this one: So last week I did a very brief segment on a we’ll-keep-it-unnamed cable news network. While I […]

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