Woooh, SPRING BREAK. I have spent 3 hours today watching live coverage of & commentary on the House health-care vote, and my brain is greasy at this point. Basic cable in Santa Barbara doesn’t give you Fox News, and I’m genuinely sad about that, because it remains as interesting as ever to compare it to CNN’s and MSNBC’s respective coverage. Still, this gave me time to begin noticing (again) how much more humane and less cheesy MSNBC seems. Sure, they have in-house reactionary perverts / commentators like Pat Buchanan and that cross-eyed guy who used to work for Cheney, but they also utilize Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein, and shrill as Keith Olbermann can be, he’s still not the blue-state Geraldo. Even their graphic design is somehow cooler looking, in both senses of the word: it looks hip compared to CNN’s hyperactive visuals and is more elementally soothing.
Why is this? Isn’t NBC owned by an evil conglomerate, too? Why hasn’t all mass visual media turned into Fox? Presumably the corporate overlords wouldn’t want Maddow doing stories about Blackwater murdering people in Iraq, yet in reality that’s what happens. Is it just because media corporations can make more money appealing to niche political markets (e.g. how MSNBC is generally left-of-center) instead of trying to grab a vanilla plurality? IS THIS COMMODIFIED DISSENT? I need to stop watching the TV now.