Since we seem to collectively be so bored with events these days that we're no longer even talking about the actual news and current events so much as about how much we trust, or don't trust, individual program hosts and outlets to deliver that news we wish existed, thought I'd weigh in.
Gotta admit that these days I don't typically watch more than like 20 or 30 minutes worth of news in a day, though there are some days when I'm just bored and opt to watch for hours. In any event, I have a viewing schedule of news programming that's on after work on the weekdays that I can dip into or drop out of as I feel the need in a given moment. That schedule is (currently) as follows:
6-7 PM: The PBS News Hour
7-8 PM: Tucker Carlson Tonight
8-9 PM: The Rachel Maddow Show
Other than that, it's mostly my online niche preferences and stuff people link me to. I like to get a variety of perspectives anymore, as you can doubtless gather. So let's go through why I like these programs the most:
I've been watching what is today called the PBS News Hour off and on since I was a kid back in the '90s. It's my favorite news program. I'm a lifelong socialist -- a real one who favors social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, not a Bernie Sanders type welfare state "socialist" -- and a strong believer in public television and really favor the News Hour's glorious lack of commercial "breaks" and fancy, animated corporate logos and ticker tape reels and stock prices distracting you on the bottom of the screen. There's a welcome minimalism to it that keeps your focus on the story, or topic, at hand. Most of all though, I like the program's wide variety of stories -- many of which you can't get on the for-profit news networks because they're not sensational or U.S.-centric enough -- and its civil tone. I find it both interesting and calming. The show often even ends with the reading of a poem or the performance of a song or some other kind of artistic reflection on life. No sports updates or weather (unless it's a hurricane or something), as gets views on your local news broadcast. Art and science news instead because it's public television and they're not in it for the ratings and the money. It's just so refreshing!
As to the other two, Tucker Carlson is the highest-rated conservative news host on television and Rachel Maddow is the highest-rated liberal news host on television. I suspect these things are true for a reason. That's why I watch them both. Since it will likely be the most controversial, let me start with the topic of Tucker.
Yes, I do like to get a dedicated, more conservative take on current events anymore. I have to admit that I really couldn't bear this during the Trump era when it was all just pro-administration propaganda, but now that Republicans are relatively powerless at the federal level and liberals run all the major social medias, and in a media climate wherein it really does feel like the press writ large really has started showing a clear political leaning and wherein most major advertisers have stopped airing their commercials on Fox News, Fox really has started feeling like opposition media to me, and I find there's something almost intrinsically refreshing about that. Traditionally, I'd have watched All In With Chris Hayes during this time window instead, but these days his show is so fixated on Trump and Covid and the killer racist cops and state-level election laws and all the other same subjects as last year that it doesn't feel like it's really keeping up with the times anymore. It feels intellectually frozen in 2020 (or January 6th at the latest). Carlson's show is often more interesting to me. It certainly always provides me a different perspective on events. I find I agree with Carlson's perspective only about a third of the time, but that's way up from a year ago. It's the stories his show covers that you don't find on the other networks that I find most interesting, NOT his latest anti-vaccine bullshit type of stuff. Any time he starts going off on like how getting vaccinated will surely kill you or how maybe George Floyd died of a heart attack and not the painfully obvious knee pressed against his neck for some nine minutes or interviews Marjorie Taylor Green or some other idiotic violation of my basic sensibility, I reflexively change the channel or turn off my TV. No, what I come back for again and again is the actually rational stories on, critical race theory, new gender identity policies, the silencing of free speech in this country, that sort of thing. If Republicans are to make an electoral comeback next year, I guarantee you those sorts of things will be the reasons why because topically they certainly interest me!
What I find distinguishes Tucker from other prime time hosts on Fox News is his willingness to criticize Republicans and corporate lobbying and hegemonic capitalism. I've observed that Josh Hawley seems to be the Senator he interviews most often and suspect that there's a reason for that. Tucker strikes me as a Josh Hawley type of conservative more than anything else. More so even than a true Donald Trump type of conservative really. Ya know, he supports Elizabeth Warren's bill to break up the tech giants and condemns the American Enterprise Institute for its history of hawking Purdue Pharma to rural America because they were among the principal donors to the AEI, this sort of thing. It makes the subsequent program, Hannity, seem like a jarringly partisan and brainless contrast to what you just saw in the previous hour sometimes. ...What I'm saying is that there's just a certain working class type of mindset to Tucker's program, in my observation, that isn't so present on any of Fox's other shows. That I think is what makes his show stand out the most and has helped it emerge as the most popular one on all of cable news. It's a quality I find appealing as, you know, a blue collar type myself. Even if I don't actually agree with his perspective more than like a third of the time.
Moving on, yes I also still like Rachel Maddow's program. She has such a distinctive style! Most every show of her's opens by telling a story, and it can go on for like 10 or 15 minutes even sometimes. I can't help but find all the dots she connects fascinating, and often brilliant! She also tends to revolve her entire show around one or two topics per evening anymore, which on the one hand makes for a sometimes-frustratingly narrow range of subjects, but on the other hand offers a really deep-dive into the selected topics of the evening in place of more topics. It's this unique sort of approach that keeps her liberal perspective from ever feeling generic or stale to me even in politically good times for the Democrats like we have on our hands today. I usually do come away feeling like I learned the importance of a topic I'd previously found mundane and uninteresting. No wonder her's is consistently MSNBC's highest-rated show!
The online spaces I like to occasionally check back in with are niche spaces mostly composed of offbeat feminist sites that fall outside the conventional conservative-to-progressive spectrum, like Canada's Feminist Current blog, Britain's Mumsnet Feminism sub-forum, South Korea's lesbian feminist Womad board (which is my favorite, to the extent I can read it anyway, as only a small minority of threads and posts are available in English), France's Femen organization site, and femcel social medias, each of which is, in their own way, more than a little controversial. So I do have my more radical fascinations too.
I'm just a curious person/weirdo.
Last edited by Jaicee - on 26 June 2021