I saw a couple of articles about companies off-loading media properties. ABC is trying to sell Nate Silver’s 538 site. And it’s rumored that Jeff Bezos needs to sell off the Washington Post as part of a deal to buy a football team.
These are smaller parts of a bigger story. ABC is trying to shed costs because Disney is looking to sell ABC and ESPN and wants to make them look less like money-losing properties than they are.
And this same loss of profitability is a general situation. CNN is tanking and its competitors; MSNBC and Fox are also suffering ratings slumps. Even streaming giant Netflix is feeling the pinch. And Amazon is seeing red ink in various entertainment departments.
And how is any of this surprising? These media companies don’t provide valuable products either as journalism or entertainment. They despise their customers and provide content that is poorly done and rarely helpful to its consumers. Watching what passes for network news is painful and rarely rises to the level of professional journalism or even honest reporting of the facts.
And what Hollywood tries to pass off as entertainment is an outrage. Except for a very small proportion of the cable shows everything is hopelessly derivative and completely lacking in interest. The network television shows, the police procedurals and situation comedies have fallen below the level of high school theatrical productions. The scripts are worse than hack work. The actors are uninspired and amateurish. The only thing that keeps the whole thing from completely imploding is the low expectations of the Millennial viewers and the desperation of the sponsors who need some outlet for their commercials.
Back in the 1960s they called television the “great wasteland.” If those culture critics could have foreseen what passes for television to day they would have begged the forgiveness of the network executives who provided a product that was at least geared to people of average intelligence. Their modern day successors have crafted a product that even marching morons would run screaming from.
And that’s why I buy DVDs. If I find a good show I buy it and add it to the Noah’s Ark of entertainment that I maintain. Re-watching a one or ten or eighty year old movie is infinitely preferable to suffering through some new piece of tripe that will insult my intelligence and my morals. And that’s why I’m so grateful for conservative critics who can pass along news of that rarest of unicorns, something new that’s worth watching.
So let ABC and the rest of the alphabet soup go out of business. Let Disney’s next fifty gay rom-com cartoons crash and burn on the runway. There’s plenty of old entertainment to watch and there will be some good things made by someone, somehow.
The big problem is finding reliable news. The truth is not something that corporate America allows. For that you have to go to small venues and the rare big media exception like Tucker Carlson.
But you always have OCF (Orion’s cold Fire). What could be better than that?