“A mirror, a logo, and a news crawl” is the inevitable fate of cable news, Stephen Colbert informed on Monday night. Going after the 24-hour news networks for putting the “me” in “media,” the Comedy Central host introduced viewers to “truthinews” — the super-social, insulated coverage that’s come to dominate cable news.
Yes, there’s a news channel for everyone — ranging from MSNBC to Fox News — but they all have one thing in common. The networks’ cardinal rule, he said, is to “tell their viewers what they want to hear.”
…and they’re not only letting viewers weigh in, but furthermore: “They’re letting you hear you say it.” Via segments on their own unscientific polls and crowdsourced tweets, etc. We all know about truthiness, but now that’s turned into truthinews, meaning the only obligation cable networks have is “to report whatever the American people already think.”
Here’s how the cycle goes, a critical-but-hilarious Colbert explained:
“First, we ask you what you think the news is. Then report that news you told us back to you. Then take an insta-Twitter poll to see if you feel informed by yourself. Which we will read on the air until we reach that golden day when we are so responsive to our viewers that cable news is nothing but a mirror, a logo, and a news crawl.”
Take a look, via Comedy Central:
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