The MSM: Closed-Circuit TV for the Ruling Class
August 24, 2010 - by Ed Driscoll Share | “‘CBS Evening News’ Ties All-Time Low,” TV Newser reports:

The network newscast ratings for last week are in and “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days.

The low was set last June, when ABC also hit its own low. (Ratings records date back to the 1991-’92 season.) Last week, NBC averaged 7.42 million total viewers and ABC averaged 6.51 million. We’ll have the full breakdown of the week shortly.

Meanwhile, an MSNBC correspondent says on the air, “I made the mistake of turning on this network in prime time last night and my head almost blew off.” Making him one of the few people who actually did make the mistake of tuning in GE’s hard left opinion network in prime time.

Can a medium completely lose touch with its audience, and start producing product solely for itself? As I written before, it happened 60 years ago in jazz, eventually transforming that genre from the popular American music to an insular art form called bebop, which eventually concluded that the audience wasn’t necessary. And the audience quickly took the hint, which is why jazz is now seen in small nightclubs and in the mausoleum of Lincoln Center, and not at your local hockey arena.

A few years ago, the news industry built a mausoleum of their own — remember the Newseum? And that’s not the only place where they’ve entombed themselves. Their news product, particularly on TV, is essentially a a closed-circuit system designed to assuage the ruling class. That you and I can choose to also watch is merely a byproduct.

A comment by a reader the other day referencing Rush Limbaugh’s line from last week that the news media are now essentially making product for themselves made we want to go back and RTWT, as it were:

When I watch CNN, when I watch MSNBC, we’re watching networks that no longer have any audience to speak of. I mean if you look at the country as a whole, the MSNBC audience could be put in a thimble, and CNN’s could be put on the head of a pin compared to the country at large. Newsweek was sold for a dollar, and all the big names at Newsweek are leaving. The only one left is Howard Fineman. The New York Times, circulation is down. Same thing at the Washington Post. USA Today, LA Times, they’re all down. When I watch these networks, or when I read Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s piece today on the panic that’s set in, both at the New York Times and at the White House over the numbers of people that think Obama’s a Muslim, it just struck me again, they have no connection with you or anybody else outside of their realm of media. The American people are not their audience.
Long but interesting.

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