On the front lines of America’s culture wars: cable news

Every day when I wake up, I turn on the news on cable TV to see what I missed while I was sleeping. I have long ago stopped expecting anything that vaguely resembled an honest and mediocre newscast. Biased journalism isn’t exactly new. But what I’m getting now in a seemingly endless loop is something new I think, or at least something different.

What I am witnessing now, every morning, is the division of the United States. culture war playing on television. So even before breakfast, they are feeding us a constant diet of information that divides us, that tries to convince us that “the other side” is not simply wrong, but is on a mission to destroy America. What a beautiful way to start the day, right?

At Fox, we get the same culture war stories every day: stories about the disaster on our southern border, about masks mandates, about parents upset with what their children are taught in public schools. They are all legitimate stories, but it is as if nothing else happens in the world.

On CNN, they’re still obsessed with Donald trumpDonald Trump Night Defense and National Security – Presented by Boeing – Milley Warns of ‘Sputnik Moment’ for China WSJ Releases Letter from Trump Continuing to Allege Election Fraud in PA Oath Keeper, Who Was on Capitol Hill Jan.6, Runs for the New Jersey State Assembly MORE. Tune in any morning, or for that matter, almost any time during the day or night, and you’ll get a lot about Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, which CNN anchors routinely call an “insurrection.” .

At Fox, mask mandates are bad, a threat to personal freedoms. At CNN, masking mandates are good, they save lives. At Fox, you get the impression that Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci It’s time for Fauci to go, but don’t wait for it to happen The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Budget Negotiators: 72 Hours and Counting CDC Director Urges Americans to Get Out, ‘Enjoy Your Trick or Treat ‘ PLUS it’s a disaster. On CNN, it’s a national treasure. On Fox, you’ll see a dramatic and newsworthy video of massive caravans moving north from Central America to the United States. This is not a story that CNN is particularly interested in. No one tunes in to Fox News to hear what a great job President BidenJoe BidenBiden to Meet House Democrats Ahead of Europe Trip: Report 21 House Democrats Call for Removal of IRS Bank Reporting Proposal from Spending Bill Overnight Health Care – Presented by Altria – Vulnerable Democrats Push Drug Pricing Plan MORE he’s doing, and no one tunes in to CNN to hear what a lousy job he’s doing, or that Donald Trump wasn’t responsible for the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6.

The fact is that cable news, because the line between news and opinion is blurred, has become at best one of the most divisive institutions throughout America.

TO recent survey conducted by the University of Virginia Center for (Nonpartisan) Politics found that approximately 52 percent of Americans who voted for Trump “agree” or “strongly agree” that it is time to divide America into two separate countries, with red or blue states. States separating from the union.

Fewer Democrats who voted for Joe Biden agree, but still a large number (42 percent) want the same thing: the disintegration of the United States of America along ideological lines.

There has been talk of secession in this country, and not just in 1860 in the run-up to the Civil War. But mainly it has been nothing more than idle talk from the periphery. Not anymore, not if the survey numbers are close to correct.

And there is more. From the right, FH Buckley of George Mason University has a book, “American secession, “In which he argues that” there is a lot to be said about an American breakup. ” And from the left, Richard Kreitner’s book from The Nation, “Break it, ”He maintains that“ we must finally finish the Reconstruction work or resign from the Union altogether ”.

It would be unfair to put all the blame on cable news for what we have become: the Divided States of America. But it would be unrealistic to believe that cable news is not responsible for the deep divisions in our country.

Cable news didn’t create those divisions, but the relentless repetition of the same burning issues from the culture war has made the divisions worse. And the more cable news pleases its audience, the more “news” it throws red meat at its viewers, the more it irritates them and prompts them to come back for more, the more divided we become.

The culture war that separates the two sides may not be good for America, but it is good for the cable news business. After all, there is a lot of money to make Americans play against each other.

Bernard Goldberg is an Emmy and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award-winning writer and journalist. He was a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” for 22 years and previously worked as a reporter for CBS News and as an analyst for Fox News. He is the author of five books and publishes exclusive weekly columns, audio commentary, and Q&A about his Patreon Page. Follow him on Twitter @BernardGoldberg.


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