Okay, all you 24/7 news junkies, here's a quiz: What's the difference between news and opinion? I don't mind you checking in all day long to watch the same footage, described in the same words, over and over. I'm just concerned that you keep your minds straight on the question above. I'm sick of "news" that is really fiction. I mean, I'm a novel writer and I wouldn't go as far as a lot of so-called newspeople in spinning a story.
We hear first, sometimes for days, what someone probably will say when he/she speaks to the press. Then we hear the actual speech, which is then sliced into sound bites, which any debater knows can make a quote sound pretty much any way you want it to. The speech is followed by endless recaps of what the person said, and again the reporter makes choices about what to include and what to leave out. That is followed by endless hashing and rehashing of what was said and what it means. The before-speech predictions and the after-speech analysis on some news-talk shows are often purely personal garbage.
It happens to everyone: Obama, Palin, even the Anthony family. (If anything could make me feel sorry for that woman, it would be the media's gleeful broadcast of her conversations with her parents from jail.) Today it's Caroline Kennedy, who made a simple, one-sentence statement that she's withdrawing from competition for Clinton's Senate seat. In less that two minutes I was infuriated by four "reporters" who all provided their guesses as to why she did that. We pay people to guess other people's motives? Adding insult to fabrication, they delivered their opinions in a superior, snide manner, implying that they have the goods on this woman.
I don't care one way or the other about Caroline Kennedy's motivations. But what 24/7 news has done for America is turn it into 24/7 editorializing disguised as news. So I return to the orginal question, because you are ultimately responsible for your own intelligence. As you watch the "news," ask yourself over and over: What is the difference between news and opinion? You'll find there's a lot less news than you think.