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.