Ask Your Doctor. Tell Your Doctor…



TV Watchers:

You Are Being Fed 30% Commercials


As a retired person and a political junkie, I watch waaay too much cable news: MSNBC, CNN, and, yes, even Fox News on occasion.

The news anchors always set you up for the commercial “break” with a tasty preview of what is next, “Stay with us. After the break, we have Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniel’s lawyer, here to explain how Trump’s lies are backfiring,” or something like that. They want you to pay attention to the three to four minutes of commercials you are about to get bludgeoned with.

This commercial-driven news media makes  in-depth reporting impossible. The news only lasts four or five minutes between the commercials. Very frustrating. I’m constantly using my precious remote to jump around from channel to channel. When I hit Fox, my wife runs screaming from the room. I’m being bombarded with repetitive, really crappy commercials, all the while not getting the full news story I want to hear, because, “We have to go to commercial break.”

I recently checked out my perceptions. One morning this week, I watched a full hour of MSNBC from 8:00AM to 9:00AM, the Velshi and Ruhle show. I timed every segment to get real data on the proportions of news and commercials that powers our TV reality. Stay tuned for the results after this short commercial break (just kidding).

Here is what I found,

During 60 minutes, there was only 42 minutes of news programming and 18 minutes of commercials. Thirty percent of that “news hour” was devoted to selling me crap I don’t need. There were 38 different products advertised, 23% of which were devoted to healthcare products and services.

The commercials ranged from 15 seconds to a full minute. I could get help with my back pain, or learn about AARP-approved healthcare insurance, or how to get mortgage relief. And of course, the ever-present “ask your doctor” “tell your doctor” stupid pharmaceutical ads. “Be sure and tell your doctor if you are vomiting blood and your head is exploding.” Hmmm, why would I do that?

So, bottom line: if you feel you are drowning in idiotic TV commercials that tell you more than you really wanted to know about your gas pains, and your over-active bladder, you are. I was in England a few years ago and was delighted to see commercial-free, tax-supported news shows on the BBC. What a concept. Damn those socialists.


Photos of The Week

Photographing a bee on a flower with a “macro” lens is easy. Catching a bee in flight is hard













Feathers floating in the water at Sutro Baths in San Francisco.














4 thoughts on “Ask Your Doctor. Tell Your Doctor…

  1. Ann says:

    Rick, you should try watching “Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman. Good interviews and no commercials! You’ll feel better!!

    Beautiful photos…

    Love, Ann

  2. Susan says:

    Wow, the photos are stunning.

    We get all of our news on line now. Since we moved to Mexico, we do not have a TV. We get movies and documentaries on Netflix and You tube and HBO — all of that is commercial free. I have not seen a real TV commercial for years. — Go to your computer instead of your TV and ask for CNN or MSNBC or just Rachel Maddow or whatever. You just get the Program. Well, sometimes it starts with an add, but there is a little tag in the lower right corner that says, “Skip Ad” or “You can skip this ad in 3 seconds,” and they let you skip the ad. Try it!!!

  3. Eileen says:

    Enjoyed your assessment of commercially supported TV. It is those pharmaceutical ads that drive me the most crazy, even more so than the political ads. Most of each ad for a “medicine” are all of the disclaimers why you should not take it.

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