Are You Satisfied With Your TV News?

June 19, 2002

by Dennis Lombard

Sound bites! They may be the death of Western civilization!

The triviality of our network and local TV news is well known. Locally, so much of the local channels give us a steady diet of blood and guts that is debilitating. All the accidents, the murders, the court appearances of sordid criminals, the crimes of all descriptions seem to be their main focus.

"Never forget," I tell my wife Mary, who like me finds the local news draining, "These people spend the whole day running around grabbing up all the bad news they can find and then compress it into a half hour – itís not a true picture of the community we live in!"

To make bad matters worse, they canít find a full 30 minutes of rotten stuff, so they fill in with commercials for medicines for every manner of illness from allergies to lumbago to the very depression they induce, plus interminable new car ads offering $1000s off their inflated prices that insult our intelligence....

Nationally the picture is worse. If I hear one more talking head try to tell me that the Israelis are causing that war over there, or that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance and went golfing instead, Iíll scream. It is first of all quite impossible to adequately inform us what is going on all over the country and globe in snippets of interviews of pre-selected know-it-alls, or worse, dope-on-the-street interviews. "What do you think Ashcroft ought to do about terrorists?" some blinkey-eyed citizens is asked on his lunch hour along Michigan Avenue.

And it gets even worse when the President speaks. Back in August 2001 when Bush went on prime-time to tell the nation what he was going to do about embryonic stem cell research, the talking heads told us for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand what he was going to say, then for another 30 to 60 minutes afterwards they told us what he had said. In between time Bush said what he said, and I believe I understood it all. It was in plain American English.

The sanest thing anybody said on the occasion came from Dan Rather, believe it or not. He blinked into the camera and quoth, "Itís the kind of subject that, frankly, radio and TV have difficulty with, because it requires such depth into the complexities of it.

"So we can, with impunity, recommend that, if youíre really interested in this, youíll want to read, in detail, one of the better newspapers tomorrow."

He didnít mention our Home Times newspaper, which is the only fault I can find with his statement. However, he made a tremendous point, or rather several points:

TV news with its sound bites is woefully inadequate to the task of explaining the world to us.

So much of the cable TV "analysis" is mere layer upon layer of biased opinions, probably 95% slanted toward the left.

Only newspapers, broadsheet or tabloid size, have the space or resources to really "get" the news for us. In a typical big city such as Washington or New York, the staffs of local dailies are generally six to eight times larger than the local TV news teams. A big city daily can give you up to 100,000 words; nightly network news, a little more than 3,000. [Source: Editor & Publisher 2/10/02]

On the other hand – daily newspapers are probably (just a rough guess) 90% or more liberal-leaning. So thatís why we are developing Home Times; thatís why the Internet has blossomed, not just with a lot of porn and garbage, but with some really great news sources for the common man, such as

You have to wade through a lot of competing sources, but itís all free out there in And the exercise of your mind, your judgement skills, your conscience, and your passion for truth will make your grow as a human being!

Meanwhile, watch out, TV news is dangerous to your health!


© 2002 Home Times Family Newspaper

Dennis Lombard has been a community newspaper editor since 1972, and is currently editor and publisher of Home Times Family Newspaper, a traditional conservative monthly which he founded in 1990. He resides in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife, Mary, and they have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Home Times, soon going weekly, serves Palm Beach and Martin Counties in Florida and the nation by mail subscription, covering world, national, and local people and issues, home and family, arts and entertainment, and religion, all with a traditional conservative worldview. For a free copy call toll-free: 888-439-3509 or go to

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For more of Dennis' articles, visit his archives.

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