The Critical 'I'

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Sunday, April 13, 2003

THE DECLINE OF MSNBC
John Ellis wrote this piece for Fast Company, on the continued meandering of the MSNBC news network and what it could portend for the future of TV programming.

It's a bit of doomsday scenario, assuming you consider giving over everything from sitcoms to news shows to reality-television production values. I'm not sure the parallel is that accurate. The argument also assumes that reality TV is the continuing wave of the future, instead of a fad (which I admit I believe it to be).

In a way, I don't care about this. I never access MSNBC, either on the tube or online. I agree it's not distinctive in any sense, so that's a problem it needs to address. But any way it chooses to do this, I don't have much patience for the newstalk programming concept anyway, regardless of network, ideology or personalities. I don't consider listening to a bunch of opinionate jerks spouting off, and correspondingly causing my blood pressure to rise, as particularly entertaining. (As you can tell, the "freak show" approach doesn't tickle my fancy either.)