The Problem with Cable News






Let me say this...I love Rachel Maddow, she is one of the few journalists NOT dedicating her show to Donald Trump's tweets. She uses her platform to educate the American people on the issues and what I love most about her is that she provides a historical background when she does it. I feel the same way about Chris Hayes, he is an excellent journalist and I have always secretly believed that we would have been friends had we gone to college at the same time. I'm a bit older than he is.


That said, they are reporters and reporters should not determine the democratic platform for the democratic party. They should report on it. I do not believe either of the aforementioned journalists have attempted to do this. I do, however, believe that a lazy democratic party has let liberal media have a precarious voice in the issues our party addresses, and that needs to cease.


Liberal media has lead us down a never ending road of identity politics, which has us frenzied and exhausted over Trump's latest tweet, while harmful legislation is passed that they seldom report on.


WHAT IF....the democratic party didn’t let a ratings driven vehicle, like cable news, determine their talking points? WHAT IF the democratic party held press conferences, town halls and campaign rallies to INFORM American citizens about the harmful laws and policies that were being passed and how they affect their income, their healthcare, their opportunities for higher education, as well as their housing and resources.


It ain’t sexy but it’s REAL. Yes, Trump is unpresidential. Yes, Trump is prejudiced. Yes, Donald J. Trump is an ignorant man. But he ain’t stupid and he’s playing America.


I ask you this question. Imagine you are standing on your front lawn, a man walks by and calls you the most demeaning name that can possibly be said. Should you focus on him or his friend on your back porch, dousing your home with lighter fluid...about to pull a match out of his pocket?


I don’t watch Fox News, mainly because I’m not big on racist fiction. But someone is making them the highest rated cable news station in this country. Someone is tuning in and being filled with daily bits of misinformation. 


So, hear me now, and believe me later, when I tell you that the rest of the country doesn't see the world like you do. They see the world through the algorithm that only allows them to see the social media posts, movies on Netflix and other bits of information that suit what they already think and agree with. JUST LIKE YOU. We have become tribal by design.


Now, we can all decide that people who see the world differently than our cultivated little group, are crazy and wake up in disbelief and horror the Wednesday AFTER the election. Or we can accept that they get a vote, same as us, and cultivate conversations outside of the FOX and MSNBC bubble.


Yes, I said FOX...because the republican party has also allowed a ratings based cable news station (and I use the word 'news' loosely) to determine the foundational beliefs of their political party. And as Malcolm said, "We've been hoodwinked". ALL of us.


I am old enough to remember when television stopped offering programming at 1am. The Star Spangled Banner came on and all you got after that was white noise until morning. I am also old enough to remember when news journalist simply reported the facts. There were no pundits telling us how we should feel about the facts. We were trusted to decipher that on our own. But the 24-hour news cycle was born and it needed content, and that content came in the form of what ever would garner the most ratings. The answer to that question turned out to be OUTRAGE. They have to keep us outraged to get ratings and who better at that than Donald Trump.


But outrage isn't news. It's just manipulation in place of news. If you get enough folks outraged, they will focus on those feelings instead of what is truly affecting their lives. Trump saying something ridiculous on twitter doesn't change my life one iota. Trump gutting the USDA to silence scientist on climate change will not only affect my life but the lives of everyone in our great nation. Still, news program after news program, chose to report on an offensive tweet instead of what Trump was doing at the USDA, because his tweet was certain to make us outraged. The lone journalist who reported on the gutting of the USDA was Rachel Maddow.


When the democratic party allows CNN and MSNBC to determine the party platform, it loses sight of its most loyal voting block: Black women. And do you know who we are? We are the only demographic that didn't drink the kool aid in 2016. So, as a Black woman, I say to the democratic party, STOP believing the far-left liberal cable news hype. We don't want medicare for all or open borders and neither does the electoral college.


We will, however, support a revised ACA and an infrastructure bill, as well as changes to education and criminal justice reform. Ask yourself, as Mike Steele put it, "Do you wanna be woke or do you wanna win". If your answer is win, then recognize that Don Lemon and his very talented squad of hard-left, woke pundits, do NOT have a finger on the pulse of your most valuable demographic. We are not liberal, we are center-left. We love Jesus and Black Lives Matter, and our vote will reflect such, trust me on this one.


But, if your answer is woke, then continue in this direction at your own peril. You will get four more years of Trump and a war with Iran (because that's where Trump & Company are headed). And that's bound to keep you "woke" like a muthasucka.

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© 2019 Erin Wiley Sands.