Is cable news worth the cost (or worth anything at all).
Below is an excerpt from Giles Slade’s excellent book “AMERICAN EXODUS: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival” – 2013. He is describing an exchange between meteorologist Paul Douglas and a TV executive at the beginning of the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave which killed nearly 800 people:
We said, “This is going to be a major story. People are going to be dying This is something you’ld better hit very, very hard . . . I’ll never forget [the executive producer] . . . wanted to do a live shot of some place . . . hotter than Chicago. She kept wanting . . . a featury, lifestyle kind of cutesy . . . story . . . I kept pleading with her . . . “You’re missing the point. We should have people at the hospitals, we should have people at City Hall.” It degenerated into a shouting match . . . She started screaming “You don’t get it! This is television!” . . . I said, “I do get it. I understand. This is a dangerous situation for Chicago. We’re the hottest spot. People will be dying later today. That’s your story.”
You be the judge. Also, take a look here for a glimmer of hope and a glimpse of the difficulties around reporting or finding real, truthful news in a 21st century capitalist democracy.
BTW – For those of us who are Canadians, Slade’s book could be sub-titled “Guess who’s coming to dinner . . . and never going home again.”