The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

The unsigned column in the Philadelphia Daily News was titled “TV proves its irrelevancy.” Why? Because CNN and MSNBC provided extensive coverage of the White House correspondents’ dinner while search and rescue missions were under way in Nepal and Baltimore Orioles fans were being asked to remain in the stadium when the game ended because of an angry protest outside over the death of Freddie Gray.

According to the writer, this demonstrated that ‘’… thanks to Twitter and information sharing on blogs and social media, big mainstream media such as CNN and the cable networks have been dying the slow death of irrelevancy for years.”

A reasonable argument can be made that CNN should have provided more coverage of Nepal and Baltimore; at worst, it may have been questionable news judgment – or a decision driven by ratings (or access, in the case of Nepal) rather than newsworthiness. The Curmudgeon has no idea why the writer thinks MSNBC should have been covering those events rather than the dinner.

But what really struck The Curmudgeon were three other things.

First, that the newspaper that published this complaint about news outlets broadcasting entertainment when real news was taking place didn’t even have its own reporter in Baltimore to cover the story. If the story was so important, why didn’t the Daily News have someone there?

Second, that a newspaper, part of a dying industry, would refer to television, which has never been more prosperous, as dying.

And third, that the source of the complaint about television’s lack of immediacy on this occasion, a newspaper column, was published on Monday, April 27 – two days after the events that inspired the column.

Talk about irrelevance.

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