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AdLib On April - 3 - 2014

cable stations

Thanks for coming, have a seat. I wanted to talk to you about your cable news stations. I’ve just had them in for an examination and I have something difficult to tell you so please prepare yourselves. Your cable news stations are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

You may or may not have noticed some of the symptoms, telling the same stories hour after hour, day after day as if they’ve never told them before. They become fixated on small things, have bouts of fantasy about what might be happening at a given time or in the future and seem incapable of being a part of a rational conversation.

I know you care about your news. Sometimes when you’re really close to something, you find ways of rationalizing away the signs of decline. You might have told yourself, my tv news is just a little confused or it’s just having a bad day. However, when you look at the big picture of its behavior over a long period of time, putting aside your desire for tv news to remain competent year after year, the sad truth becomes quite plain.

While I was examining CNN, it became caught in this conversational loop, talking about a Malaysian plane and how it was missing. No matter what questions or comments I made about things that were actually happening today, it just kept repeating and embellishing on stories about a plane being missing. One moment it was talking about the cause being terrorists, aliens or black holes swallowing the plane up, next it was having a running conversation with itself, asking itself what it thought about the thoughts it had about the plane. It was a convoluted and confusing discussion with no real purpose but it seemed to make perfect sense to itself. CNN also seemed wholly unaware that it was drooling the whole time and interspersing shouts of, “Where’s my money?” throughout it’s rambling conversation.

When I walked into the examination room Fox News was waiting in, it was facing the smallest corner of the room with a distant, angry look in its eyes while chanting “Benghazi!”. I attempted to engage it in a conversation but it kept shutting me off with exclamations of “Pinhead!”, instead espousing one paranoia-based conspiracy theory after another, often blaming “females” “heathens” and “coloreds” for plotting against them and causing all the ills of the world throughout history. Fox would exhibit flashes of hostility when anything it said was challenged. It began hording whatever supplies it could find in the drawers and cabinets, claiming, “That’s mine!” and “You can’t take this away from me!”. Quite by accident, I found that by giving it a piece of extra white bread that it could suck on, it became more docile and submissive.

While I was in Fox’s examination room, I could hear MSNBC pounding on the connecting wall and by the time I actually got in there, its face was flushed and it had worked itself into a lather, with an actual froth around its mouth. It kept repeating all of the angry exclamations that it heard Fox making and was furiously shaking its head, “It’s a lie! They’re liars! They lie!”. I did my best to convince MSNBC that I had heard what it said and thought but hour after hour, it just kept repeating what it claimed were terrible lies then denounced them as such. MSNBC would have almost identical lengths of lucid periods in which it could express cogent thoughts but they were immediately followed by 30 second statements that came off as devious and dishonest, stating just the opposite of what they were stating at length just moments before. There was disorientation as well, it would present it’s right hand but would call it “Left”. As I was leaving the room, MSNBC looked up at the ceiling and started smiling and waving. I asked it who it was waving to and it said, “My shareholders!”

My recommendation at this point is not to institutionalize your cable news networks but keep them in a protective environment to give them full time care they need and so they’re not a danger to themselves or anyone around them. Also, they should never be left alone as if they could be responsible for making good decisions on their own.

I wish you all the best with your cable news stations. Just remember not to take anything they say too much to heart, especially the more hostile words, it’s just part of their disease.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

49 Responses so far.

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  1. monicaangela says:

    Ad Lib,

    There is no need to thank me for telling the truth as I see it. I truly enjoy this site and do appreciate your hard work and the hard work of others here. This is a busy time of year for me, so I haven’t had an opportunity to be as involved as I would like to be. I hope to be able to spend more time here soon, and hope my contribution will be worthy of consideration by the posters here. I have enjoyed reading the new post as well as the old, I come many times just to read what is being said here, the humor is fantastic and the thought that goes into the articles here leave me a bit intimidated when it comes to writing or expressing my thoughts. I have many topics I am passionate about, and soon when I find the time to put my thoughts together I will go to the dashboard and leave something for your approval. 😉 Keep up the good work, I’m enjoying every bit of it.

  2. monicaangela says:

    Excellent diagnosis Dr. Adlib. I really enjoy watching Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, she actually has real news to report, in depth news that the cable MSM either doesn’t cover, or covers with bias. Alzheimer’s in my opinion is letting them off lightly, I believe they are guilty of deceptive and abusive practices. Too bad they can’t be charged with that or can they?

    • Unca Adverse says:

      monicaangela Dir!
      Amy is terrific and so is Krystal Ball who is a true progressive!
      Long time no see, yore old pal Unca from HufPo . . .

      • kesmarn says:

        Welcome to the Planet, Unca Adverse! Hope to hear more from you!

      • monicaangela says:

        Hello Unca,

        Long time no see, good to know you’re still out there posting. Hope all is well with you. Yes, I agree, Krystal Ball is a true progressive, I enjoy her when I get a chance to watch her on MSNBC. I also like Steve Cornacki (not sure if I spelled his last name correctly)and of course Rachel Maddow. Hope to see you here again soon. :)

        • Unca Adverse says:

          I have become aware that a few regressives
          do not approve of Joy-Ann Reid and her
          “Reid Report” on MSNBC … how despicable!

          • monicaangela says:

            Joy Reid is a very intelligent woman, I watch her from time to time and do enjoy her show when I have the time. Joy’s show is at 2:00 p.m. where I live, and I am usually out and about at that time.

            • AdLib says:

              monicaangela, thank you so much for all the kind things you expressed about The Planet! The atmosphere of The Planet is generated by our members including you. The sense of openness, wisdom, humor, community and being able to genuinely express oneself and receive thoughtful responses is greatly valued by me as a blogger as well.

              Most of our members came from HP. It does take an adjustment to go from the fast-paced, brief (and quickly disappearing) comments there to the more moderately paced, more substantial and ongoing discussions here. (for example, we’re still having discussions on this thread and it started on the 3rd).

              For some coming to The Planet, it is a welcome oasis but for others, it doesn’t feel kinetic enough. As I mentioned to Unca, when one takes advantage of all the other features here that are in addition to our conversations on news and issues, it can be a lot more satisfying and varied than HP and other megablogs.

              I always hope that new members coming from HP give it time to adjust to a new site and will appreciate the differences of what a site like The Planet has to offer. We really like having as many people of substance, principle and conscience as we can have here! And the more diverse opinions, the better!

              Thanks again monica! Very pleased to have you on The Planet!

            • monicaangela says:

              Sorry to hear you don’t plan to continue to participate here, I truly enjoy the slower pace of this site. Actually Unca the site is what you make it. I don’t plan to post at any other site, I hope to see you here from time to time. :)

        • Unca Adverse says:

          Affirmative . . . Rachel Maddow is an exceptional freedom fighter and my Heroine (as are you).

          • AdLib says:

            Unca, it does seem like trying to hold back the ocean but you of course have every right to protest society and the world for applying a definition to the word “avatar” that you find inappropriate.

            Just FYI, here is the definition of “avatar” as it appears in a Google search which is similar to every definition of it I could find on every other dictionary site:

            [img][/img]

            As for your proposition about the computer usage of “avatar” coming from the movie, “avatar” was being used to describe representational images many years prior to the debut of the movie “Avatar” (I was using avatars prior to the movie as well). This is what I found on Wikipedia:

            The use of the term avatar for the on-screen representation of the user was coined in 1985 by Chip Morningstar in designing Lucasfilm’s online role-playing game Habitat.

            GIF avatars were introduced as early as 1990 in the ImagiNation Network (also known as Sierra On-Line) game and chat hybrid.

            In 1994, Virtual Places offered VOIP capabilities which were later abandoned for lack of bandwidth.

            In 1995, KeepTalking, a product of UNET2 Corporation, was one of the first companies to implement an avatar system into their web chat software.

            In 1995, Cybertown first introduced three dimensional avatars to internet chat.[citation needed]

            In 1996 Microsoft Comic Chat, an IRC client that used cartoon avatars for chatting, was released.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar_%28computing%29

            The movie, “Avatar” premiered in 2009, around 20 years after the first usages of avatars in the computer world. It actually was the other way around from what you were thinking, the concept and title of the movie grew out of the use of computer avatars which gave users an alternate identity to “live” in.

            Coincidentally, I just published a new article that in a (hopefully) humorous way, makes the point that in pursuing an agenda, we can assign our own meanings to any words we choose but in doing so, we obscure the original meanings and sometimes communication itself.

            The McDonalds allegory I offered was intended to illustrate how the lowest common denominator usually attracts the most people but usually represents the lowest quality product. McDonalds’ burgers are made of cheap and poor quality substances with many artificial chemicals, engineered to appeal to the masses. So, more people eat McDonalds hamburgers than any others. That doesn’t mean their burgers are better than a local diner’s…in fact they aren’t better. So to complete the circle, it seems inaccurate to me to attribute an entity’s quality with the quantity of people patronizing it.

            Just because a website like HP is so popular and has thousands of people loyally “buying” what they sell, it doesn’t make HP a “better” site.

            A site that currently has the following front page headlines alongside news story headlines is hardly what I would consider a quality site, instead, HP clearly prides itself on appealing to the lowest common denominator:

            The Secret To Heavy Drinking Without Getting Wasted

            Alan Simpson Doles Out The Sex Advice You Didn’t Want

            Stars Of ‘Clueless’ Reunite After 19 Years

            Bradley Cooper Doesn’t Look Like This Anymore

            The Creepiest Mother’s Day Gift Of All Time

            4 Ways To Find Joy In A Sexless Marriage

            WHOA

            These Things Would Be Deal Breakers If We Didn’t Love Our Spouses So Much

            Fox News. Wow.

            No, That’s Not Ice Cream, It’s A Pizza Cone!

            I appreciate that you feel strongly about the issues above so if you find none of this convincing, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on all of this but no hard feelings.

            • Unca Adverse says:

              AdLib: People who have in the past coined new meaning for a word to enhance their own profits and satiate their greed are never able to alter its true meaning.
              See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar
              I have never eaten a MacDonalds hamburger so while such an act for me has no relevance I have seen an accurate chemical analysis of said product and never shall do so.
              But Good Luck and Buen Apetito . . .

            • Ad, when people go on about how many viewers FOX News has, I relate it to the number of “newspapers,” The National Inquirer sells. I know they sell millions, but that still doesn’t mean someone’s grandmother is an alien! 😉

          • AdLib says:

            Unca, PlanetPOV is a community-driven site and is operated by those motivated by conscience who volunteer their time to post and run this site. It’s actually a bit ironic, instead of using a comment to criticize the membership and site for not having the degree of participation and content you’d like to see, you could have contributed those kinds of things you want to see more of here in a post or a comment.

            What’s also bewildering is that you acknowledge the kindness of people at this site towards you yet your response to their hospitality and generosity is to express negative criticism of their site and a declaration not to continue here. These members both provide original content at this site and contribute financially so that it operates and was available for you to have come to and use freely. I think that’s at least worthy of not being disrespected on that same site.

            As Kalima explained, The Planet is not a site that just reposts the same news stories found at every other site, we assume our members know their many options for that and don’t need the redundancy here. Instead, they can post articles and comments on their opinions about the news, the world and life. And here, as you’ve experienced, members can have and continue longer and more substantive discussions with smart and thoughtful people on issues they care about. Without also participating in Vox Populi, Morning Blog, The Weekend Music Thread or The Sunday Funnies, one might not “get” The Planet fully and miss a lot of what this community and site are about.

            It is unfortunate that your misunderstanding of what an avatar is has been a cause of such frustration. Just so you understand, an avatar is any image that you associate with yourself online, at a blog, in online gaming, or any website. Whether it is a picture (even an actual picture of yourself), a cartoon or whatever image you’ve chosen to represent you, it is called an avatar. Your avatar/picture hasn’t been and can’t be lost by us since you say you uploaded it as you were supposed to at Gravatar.com (which is a separate site from PlanetPOV). Though I do like avatars, it surprises me that something as ancillary at a political blog as a brief delay in one’s avatar appearing is such an issue.

            PlanetPOV is a unique site in the blogosphere, it is not corporately owned and soulless and it is not a site where the disingenuous or hostile can find a comfortable perch. It is a site run by and for bloggers, where freedom of expression is highly respected and members are empowered to post front page articles on any topic that they care about.

            Admittedly, PlanetPOV is more of a select citizens’ think tank than a news and comments supermarket like HP where an individual is pretty irrelevant and thoughts expressed are as disposable as candy wrappers.

            There are those who prefer a busy mall with big stores to a boutique and vice versa. Where I differ is that I think that both have their plusses.

            What I would offer though is that judging the quality of a blog by the quantity of members posting is like saying McDonalds makes the best-tasting hamburgers in the world because more people eat there than the great local diner down the block.

            In any case, I hope you find what you are looking for wherever you land and wish you the best.

            • Unca Adverse says:

              AdLib: Although the many various opinions contained In your recent jeremiad were mildly amusing, the term “avatar”, now commonly misused due to its inappropriate use as the title of a movie depicting huge blue beings, is a word taken from the Sanskrit meaning “descent”.
              As such it has religious meaning to some rather large sects located predominately in India and its present use may be offensive to them.
              To my Sikh friend it means the deliberate descent of a soul to earth in any form.
              I must assure that I am no deity descended from above but was borne here of woman and in three days will have existed for only eighty years.
              Your parallel juxtaposing MacDonalds to PlanetPOV is not relevant.

            • monicaangela says:

              Good Morning Ad Lib,

              I believe you nailed it. I come here when I can because it is a sight as you say where a person can participate by conducting the conversation or commenting on the thoughts of others. This site is a wealth of knowledge if you know how to use it, in my opinion of course, I truly appreciate the manner in which the site is displayed, and I enjoy not having to feel obligated to argue an issue for the sake of argument if you know what I mean. I feel comfortable here, and will continue to post here for as long as I am allowed to do so.

              I don’t believe Unca Adverse is accustomed to waiting for a reply to his comments, most who participated at HP were accustomed to having an immediate response to any comment they posted. It is a bit difficult to adjust to the change I guess, maybe he will be happier at the site he chooses to frequent, I truly hope so.

              To sum up, let me just say that I truly appreciate your effort here, I appreciate the articles that are truly the thoughts of the posters, I enjoy the weekend music thread, Kalima’s Morning Blog and Kes’s weekend Funnies. Keep up the good work, I truly appreciate it, and plan to post here more often when I have more time.

          • monicaangela says:

            I really appreciate that comment Unca Adverse, I believe that makes it a mutual admiration society where we are concerned. I would really love it if Rachel and a few other liberals would get progressive radio up and running again. I would hope that one of those liberals involved in the project would be Keith Olbermann. It would be nice to see the right wing conservative radio host get a bit of competition and lose some of their air time, they, IMO are ruining this nation.

            • Kalima says:

              Well that’s a shame Unca, hope you find what you are looking for somewhere else.

              Just to clear a few things up, most of those members you are talking about that no longer post here, were an influx of posters from HP a few years ago when the takeover happened, and recently last year when HP demanded you all get a Facebook account. The majority have never once posted here, and returned to HP.

              We are not a news site and have never claimed to be. We are an opinion site where people are free to give their point of view, and write articles without censorship.

              We are a community here, many people work or lead busy lives. They come when they find the time.

              FYI, we didn’t lose your avatar, there must be a problem where you signed on for it. Please check your settings there. Thanks.

            • Unca Adverse says:

              To My Dear monicaangela:
              Many of the continuous posters on this site have been very kind to me. This is a very small blog and quite a few of its members do not post at all and have not done so for a long time. It does not adequately cover most current events and I will no longer participate here. Also they have lost my photo (what they falsely call an avatar). Soon I will commence posting on ‘Demo Under’. I may drop in on you only from time to time . . .
              I never new that you are a beauty queen! __ Yore Unca Adverse

  3. kesmarn says:

    Wonderful job, AdLib!

    Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon. They were both shot today in Afghanistan. Kathy survived. Anja was not so fortunate.

    Real people doing real jobs.

    Dying young because their job is incredibly dangerous.

    Something that the FOX babes and the CNN recyclers/regurgitators of “news” will never have to worry about. Shuttling back and forth in 6″ heels on polished floors between the overlit, tacky set and the green room is the biggest risk they take.

    Their longevity is virtually guaranteed. Which does indeed give them plenty of time to develop a very stubborn case of Alzheimer’s.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us.

  4. James Michael Brodie says:

    As I sat before the TV
    Came a sound, I thought it was news
    They came into my apartment
    They left half-truths on my carpet
    I ran to get my remote
    I could see they were unstable
    So I found another station
    It was no use, it was my doom

    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me
    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me
    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me
    Help me, I’m not ok, I’m not ok, help me

    When I watch the TV
    I’m bombarded
    A crescendo angry
    They came into my apartment
    They left half-truths on the carpet
    I ran to get my remote
    I was struck down
    It was my doom

    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me
    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me
    Help me, I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok.
    I’m not ok. Help me

    I’ve been hit by
    I’ve been stuck by
    Those news criminals…

    • AdLib says:

      James, loved it, very clever!

      How about this one:

      Your bit is lyin’
      Gonna tell you right
      You show your farce
      On broadcast nights
      I’m telling you
      We’ve had our fill
      You’ve hurt our minds
      Don’t smile, you shills
      Come on

      Come on
      Don’t play it on me
      All right

      You’re giving us
      IQs of three
      So just get stuffed
      Or let news be
      I’m telling you
      Won’t watch your shows
      We know your game
      You’re just news ho’s

      Well they say it’s just tv
      And to me that’s really true
      But my friend you have seen nothin’
      Just wait ’til we get through

      Because you’re bad, you’re bad, come on
      You know you’re bad, you’re bad, come on, you know
      You know you’re bad, you’re bad, come on, you know
      And the whole world has to
      Answer right now
      Just to tell you once again
      You’re bad!

  5. James Michael Brodie says:

    Doctor, doctor,
    Here are the clues
    They got a
    Bad taste of fudging the news
    No pill’s gonna soothe their ills
    They got a
    Bad taste
    Of fudging
    The news…

    • AdLib says:

      Hey James, nice one! Back at ya…

      “I watched the news today, oh boy.
      Four dozen hacks on networks, everywhere
      And though their minds were rather small
      They had to show them all
      Now they know how many hacks it takes to fill the newsroom hall
      I’d love to turn you off.”

      • AdLib says:

        Answering your comment above but ran out of room!

        Fox News is a great example of the most popular being the lowest quality. Same with RW talk radio, it’s got far more listeners and what they hear are the worst lies, racism and chauvinism from “political pundits”. So is Rush Limbaugh the best pundit because he has the largest audience (and pants size)?

        It’s more typically the opposite, the most popular things are generally of worse quality than something that isn’t as broadly targeted.

      • James Michael Brodie says:

        Had to go there, KT. Saddens me that this is what passes for news reporting these days.

        Those of us who were inspired to enter the profession by Woodward and Bernstein do not recognize this circus. We understood that we were not the news; we were merely the ones reporting it.

        There was a scene in the film “The Paper” that summed up the Fourth Estate: The reporter’s character was demanding a raise because this person believes that s/he is what the news is all about. He starts to tell the reporter about his early days as a journalist in Paris, on the expense account. A number of them get together and head to a fancy restaurant and have a feast. When the bill comes, they realize that they do not have enough money.

        An old man sitting at a nearby table sees this and summons the waiter. The old man scribbles something on a napkin, to the waiter’s delight. The waiter tells the journalists that the bill has been paid with the signature.

        The old man was Pablo Picasso.

        When the journalist asked for the meaning of the tale, the editor replied that we can go to all of the places the famous go to, but at the end of the day, we are them. We are not the ones people come to see.

        Too many have forgotten this. Many more seem as though they never knew it.

        • AdLib says:

          James, puts a lot of badly needed perspective out there.

          I didn’t study journalism but have always held in in such high regard and like you, saw Woodward and Bernstein as very inspirational…along with Murrow and a few others.

          It is a genuine tragedy to see what corporate control of the news has wrought, the hollowing out of journalistic standards and integrity.

          The Founders saw the press as the unspoken fourth branch of government, if the three other branches failed, the press would be the final safety net that would protect the public…hence the very first Amendment protecting the freedom of the press.

          There are those journalists still fighting the good fight, sometimes at great personal risk, but the corporately-owned tv talk show hosts masquerading as journalists are what Americans see most.

          No matter people are less informed today about current events than previous generations. They’re inundated with corporate-mindful blather and the very trivial (“What mokey business are Miley, Bieber and the Kardashians up to today???”)

          Don’t know where we’d be today if there wasn’t an internet, if these corporate news shows had a total monopoly on the public discourse.

        • Unfortunately, so called journalists have been replaced by talking heads, who have become a sort of celebrity on cable news.

          A big part of the reason for this is that “reporting,” has become a new form of entertainment. The news is no longer just reported, there is also the element of a new sport….politics.

          I believe this is a big reason our country is so divided now. It’s always been divided along different lines, but now it’s
          “the big game,” with dems on one side and repubs on the other. A very serious part of life in a democracy has been turned into a sport.

  6. Nirek says:

    Hey Doc, can you fix them? Please!

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, sorry to say but this condition is mostly irreversible and all case studies seem to point to the condition worsening over time. Don’t be surprised to find your cable news eventually regressing to the point of simply making funny noises and needing frequent diaper changes.

  7. pinkpantheroz says:

    Another symptom could be the lack of realization that news is already busted beyond repair by the time they cry ‘Breaking News”!

    Maybe they ought to have a new banner ‘Complete and Correct News Coming Up”, but they’d probably drift off before typing it in.

    • AdLib says:

      ppo, I was actually thinking that I may need to post a new glossary for modern day tv news terms, such as:

      BREAKING NEWS
      Definition: The retitling of previously broadcast story in order to make it appear as something new that could entice viewers from leaving a channel that mostly recycles previous broadcast stories.

  8. pinkpantheroz says:

    Congrats, Dr. Adlib! You will be awarded the Babel Prize for Medicine this year. If you have any more research funds, could you possibly look at some of the Main Stream Morning News shows. I think they’re regressing into Childhood. Take TODAY, for instance. On hard news they have the attention span of a 2-year old. After just a few minutes, they transmogrify into The Wiggles, with a lot of crosstalk, bright colors and annoying background music. The ABC isn’t much better, except some of the team look as if they’ve been sent to the Naughty Corner and replaced. The state of TV news all round is pretty sick, so your expertise is sorely needed. Well Done, Sir!

    • AdLib says:

      Really appreciate it, ppo! But I thought it was the Babble Prize I would be up for.

      Have to say, I’m very interested in your research on morning shows and their transformation into children’s-styled shows. I think that muppet that’s named Matt Lauer really helps make that case.

      Cheers!

  9. Kalima says:

    Dear Dr. AdLib, your diagnosis is so perfectly on target, that I can’t help wondering how the fate of your three patients affected you on that day? Were you sad, glad or mad?

    So what now? Do we watch them with the sound off? Do we pat our tv screens while saying “There, there”? Or do we get all our news from The Planet now, as I hear that the folks there have been accused of telling the truth, and even making sense. 😯

    Your medal for an enlightening and truthful synopsis is in the mail.

    Well done Dr. Ad. May I call you Ad?

    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, as a pretend physician, I try not to get emotional about my patients.

      It’s just a good thing my pretend nurse was able to pull the 2 x 4 out of my hands before I whacked all of them over the head.

      I will be looking for that medal! It will look great next to my medical license from the Cheerios box.

      You can call me Adlib, PHD (Pretend Head Doctor).

  10. Ad, don’t let any of them see, hear or even hear mention of the name Jon Stewart or “The Daily Show.” You’d have to break out the multi-armed straight jackets and call for security.

    I suppose you could provide FOX with a little comfort by saying the name Stephen Colbert, over and over. They think he’s one of them.

    Very funny stuff, my friend! 😉


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