How US News Pundits Are Like Kim Kardashian
What’s the Latest Development?
American television news is increasingly driven by the hosts’ celebrity rather than accurate reporting of important events. Media channels frequently feature outspoken blowhards, offering borderline offensive commentary that subscribes to a political platform. “Geraldo Rivera, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly [and Ed Schultz] are the middle-aged and male equivalent of Kim Kardashian, in that they became famous for being self-parodies and must continually up the ante of their own ridiculousness in order to maintain their fame.” These commentators’ reactions to the Trayvon Martin shooting, for example, became stories in themselves.
What’s the Big Idea?
“In Britain, news on the TV and radio is pretty neutral and the newspapers are unashamedly partisan, in the US—at least in regards to the broadsheets—it is absolutely the other way round,” says the English newspaper the Guardian. It blames the baseness of American political discourse on its partisan presenters, which the paper calls the Commentariat. From the across the pond, it looks as through celebrity has infiltrated even journalism, where citizens take cues from people willing to do anything to make money or stay in the limelight.
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