Letters to the Editor

Unreality TV

I will cease watching cable “news” channels immediately.

I have watched talking heads, experts and news anchors inflame issues and keep the pot stirred while presenting their versions of the day’s events based on sources they cannot divulge. After watching most of the major cable news networks in an attempt to acquire a balanced view of what’s happening, I find instead that I am exposed to sensationalism, yellow journalism, exaggeration and loads of speculation. The networks treat speculation as if it were a spectator sport, basically expanding a rumor into a contrived crisis. Unfortunately, a lot of people treat these programs as gospel and religiously regurgitate these revelations to family, friends and co-workers.

Cable news shows are all about ratings. They are experts at manipulation and use any and all methods to fan the emotional flames of the viewers. With panels of specialists talking over one another, different networks presenting opposite views, and politicians of both parties getting nowhere fast, insults, anger and disorder seem the norm. The news programs have resorted to being entertaining and are beginning to resemble Jerry Springer-level TV.

When we were kids and Lexington had only three channels, my dad called our TV “the idiot box.” Now, with hundreds of channels, programs on 24/7 and constant bombardment of news flashes and breaking news, the term is more valid than ever.

Wayne Doller