At the Bloomberg Link Monday, a panel of journalists convened to talk about politics and media in the 21st century. During the Q&A portion, a guest asked the panel if the trend of ideological cable news programming was harmful to the public discourse in this country. Opinions were divided.
“You look at those television ratings last week, Fox was off the charts, MSNBC did ok, and there was CNN, which tries to play it straight, and sometimes does so succesfully, but other times is down in the dumps,” said Al Hunt, Bloomberg News Washington editor. “That is what cable news is all about.”
“I guess it is just an extension of this other idea: people go where their ideas are going to be reinforced,” said Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli. “I dont think it is going to change, in some ways it favors those of us who stick to the facts, because a substantial portion of the electorate just wants to know what’s true, and hopefully they will come to us.”
Then there was Ben LaBolt, the national press secretary for Obama for America, President Obama’s re-election campaign.
“I think there are news shows, and other shows,” LaBolt said. “And most networks try to contain that, some networks have a different business model, but you know who you are dealing with, and it is straightforward going in.”