Won’t someone save cable news? It’s not just that ratings are down across the board for the Big Three 24-hour networks — although 2013 was unquestionably a bad year for everyone. Far more damaging, I think, is the fact that cable news as an aesthetic — as a compelling method for exploring the important topics of our modern era — has entered what feels like a late-decadent period. The typical news anchor on CNN or MSNBC or Fox News floats across a set built out of touchscreen walls and occasional chat-friendly desks: It’s like all of cable news takes place in a universe where everyone is Tom Cruise in Minority Report and everywhere is a college café. Information has been reduced to talking points, and talking points reduced to hashtags, and hashtags are announced with such reverence that you actually think the newscaster is in the room with you, right now, yelling a hashtag into your face.
Surely someone can break us out of this cycle of inanity! Surely there is still some blood left in the cable news stone! We tried a Baldwin, and that didn’t work. We tried a British person, same result. The huddled masses cry out for a hero, for someone smart enough to recognize the intrinsic power of the form, but also savvy enough to shake off the cobwebs. READ FULL STORY