A few years ago, it was trendy to complain that the 24-hour cable news channels delivered immediacy at the cost of substance.
The full argument, if memory serves, went like this: “Americans have no patience. We’re a nation of instant gratification! And when it comes to reporting, we’ve all but done away with accuracy and serious analysis.”
I never bought into the whole “patience is a virtue” thing (I think that saying glamorizes passivity), but I do think the cable news networks have finally gone too far. They’re no longer reporting what just happened; they’re reporting the future.
“Tomorrow’s News Tonight,” CNN advertises.
“What of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?” Keith Olbermann asks.
You get the idea.
How much further can this game of temporal one-upmanship go?
“Next Week’s News Tonight!”
“June’s headlines in May!”
“2020’s News Broadcast Via Time Machine!”