Sunday, May 9, 2010

Never watch these...

I was recently talking with a friend at my job who told me that his television was not working. He has not had it fixed, and frankly, he sounded like he did not miss it that much.

Sure, he missed some aspects of it, but overall, I got the impression that he had been blessed in many ways by not having it as a distraction. He said he might fix it or buy a new one later in the year when the football season starts, but as for now, the silence was nice.

This got me thinking about my television viewing habits. I have an expanded basic cable package that has only around 70 channels. I say 'only' in an ironic way. When I was growing up in the early 1970s, my family had cable. It consisted of three channels from Chattanooga, three from Huntsville, Ala., and four from Nashville.

As technology has exploded, we have a lot more opportunity for information through television, but that is not always good. After talking with my friend, I pondered how much bang for the buck I was getting from my television options.

Out of the 70 channels I have, I probably only watch 15 or so with regularity. As for the rest, I have viewed them but tossed them out of my viewing routine.

In analyzing all these channels, there are certain ones to be avoided in almost all situations.

The E! network devotes itself to the Hollywood community, and its content is the Mount Everest of inconsequential programming. Hosts of their programs swoon when reporting the most banal news about celebrities.

People around the world have access to American television through various forms of technology. I have to wonder what they think of America when they watch E!. After all, most of us form our opinions about another countries based on what we see through the media.

The idea that people in Africa or Asia watch this network and believe this is a good representation of America makes me want to run away and hide. E! contributes nothing of value to our society. And that is quite a statement when considering how much junk is on television these days.

As for news programming, it looks bleak as well. I almost selected Fox News as the network to avoid in this category. After all, it is pretty obvious that they slant their analysis of the news from a conservative political ideology. However, a person cannot argue with the success it has had from a ratings perspective.

Despite that network's flaws, the news network to avoid has to be MSNBC. This is because the network is guilty of one of the most unpardonable traits when it comes to the news. That trait is hypocrisy.

Like Fox, MSNBC wears its politics on its sleeve. They use the same tactics as Fox to reach viewers, but from a liberal political viewpoint. This is not where the hypocrisy shows itself. The hypocrisy is that MSNBC repeatedly criticizes Fox for that network's approach to reporting news though they use the same tactics.

The whole thing makes me want to choke. Fox may be biased, but MSNBC insults our intelligence by thinking we will not see through their tactics. And, by the way, Keith Olbermann is not the second coming of Edward R. Murrow.

Olbermann is much better at sports, which he showed while at ESPN.

There are several other networks I could include here, but time prevents it. There is a lot on television that should make us scratch our heads.

Just use common sense when deciding which shows to watch.


Tenn Irish said...

"The E! network devotes itself to the Hollywood community, and its content is the Mount Everest of inconsequential programming." So are you saying Chelsea Handler ain't all that?

Chris said...

Handler can be all right. However, when I watch her show more than a couple of nights in a row, I get the feeling I've heard it all before.

Tenn Irish said...

I was just kiddin'. She seems to go out of her way to be crude, so I keep surfin'. I do, however watch FOX news, and find that there are several talking heads there who are well to the left of me.