CNN Headline News, Glenn Beck?

August 20, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Posted in America, journalism, news, television | 6 Comments

WTF? I’m not much of a TV news viewer, but decided to flip on the news when I finished my very long day today and sat down to eat dinner. I wanted some news, I wanted to know what was going on in the world. I changed the channel to CNN and quickly realized, “Oh yeah, they don’t have real news on here anymore, I’ll switch to Headline News.”

Well, that used to work. It used to be that 24/7 I could turn on CNN-HN and “catch up” on the days events. It was kind of irritating that it looped about every 15 minutes or so, but it was reliable and I liked that. Not anymore.

This evening I decided to give it a chance though, and 5 minutes in to listening to this Glenn Beck guy I had had enough. What happened to journalism? Since when did a purported “Headline News” channel start shoveling out heaping piles of opinion and supposed “humor”. I want news, not someone’s opinion of the news.

I’ve taken a screenshot of the Headline News website so you can see what I’m talking about. Headline News along with three, what, journalists that are going to report on it? Oh and they’re going to replay it? So where’s the actual news? Are Glenn, Nancy, and A.J. anchors, hosts, or commentators (see drop-down)? Headline News Website Screenshot

So many people are looking around trying to blame this or that for all of the things wrong in faith, politics, and everyday life. But what about the fact that TV viewers are being spoon-fed preformed opinions from the likes of Glenn Beck? If it is about the humor (and this guy was not that funny), then doesn’t that content belong on the Comedy channel with Jon Stewart?

In my humble opinion, if an organization markets itself as a “news network”, then it has an obligation to provide “news” according to the standards of journalism. I don’t know exactly what those standards are, but I’m fairly certain they don’t involve blatant sarcasm, disrespect for expert guests, and more opinion than news.

Glenn Beck is certainly entitled to his opinion, just as I am mine. And don’t think that I’m forgetting about Nancy Grace. She’s right up there when it comes to outspoken and downright rude. But it belongs elsewhere. If CNN wants to get into commentary and opinion, than change the name of the company to something else or keep it on the other CNN channels. Give me my Headline News back, dammit!



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  1. Glenn Beck definitely should NOT have accepted the plea deal and should have fought those charges all the way.

    Glenn Beck had a great chance to escape a prison sentence if he could have proved that two super-intelligent talking American Pit Bulls arrived in a spaceship from the future, telling fantastic tales of a time when Pit Bulls would rule the earth and enslave all humans.

  2. Ahem…I think you mean Michael Vick, right?

  3. I agree with you totally, J. I gave up on television as a news source quite a while ago except for PBS (noted below). If you want news without the personal commentary or humor, turn off the tube and turn on the radio: to NPR. “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” offer excellent reporters and timely content without the show biz. If you still want to watch a program, try the Jim Lehrer News Hour on PBS. All news, no frills; they cover about three stories nightly, in depth.

    BTW, I didn’t realize that Glenn Beck raised dogs too.

  4. Thanks for the recommendations! I used to listen to Morning Edition and All Things Considered back when I used to listen to the radio. Now I’m so busy listening to podcasts I rarely turn on the radio.

    I performed a quick search on iTunes and noticed that NPR does have a bunch of podcasts that look interesting – I may have to start sampling some.

    I might try the Jim Lehrer news hour too…I guess if I just schedule it on TiVo and program it to keep 1 or 2 programs, it will be there when and if I want to watch it.

  5. try Reuters, NPR, and I also enjoy Le Monde (France), sometimes the BBC News

    hope you are well, and I’m glad you made the distinction between “the news” and “opinions offered”. I’m so weary of listening to the American interpretation of the “news” to the point that we hardly ever get to “hear” the news, just a cascade of further interpretations of the “news”, what a crazy, mind-bending cycle!

  6. I’m currently reading Al Gore’s book, The Assault on Reason. It’s interesting the distinction that he makes between the idea of an active and informed citizenry (as hoped for by our founding fathers) and today’s primary modes of mass communication. Both radio and television communicate in only one direction, you can watch and listen but you can’t interact. I mean, what good is expressing one’s opinion if you can’t argue about it, right? 🙂

    I do hold great respect for the work done by the folks at NPR and it’s nice to see their extension into the next generation of communication.

    The BBC is great. Joe and I even find that we enjoy some of their television programming better. I’ve never heard of Le Monde, I’ll have to seek that one out.

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