America's Parallel Universes

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Ben Cohen
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Andrew Sullivan describes the competing American Cable news ecosystems:

The polarization of both MSNBC and FNC has made me feel as if I'm tuning into talk radio, not actually getting news and opinion. CNN remains by far the most balanced - but maybe the general atmosphere of cable has so alienated middle-of-the-road viewers that their position is impossible. It's like you're selling cup-cakes and safer sex advice while operating in a brothel, where your competitors get to sell Spitzer-style sessions with a Dominatrix.

I'm back in the UK at the moment and am constantly amazed at the level headed debate seen on the daily news and political talk shows. Liberals and Conservatives operate within the same paradigm of reality making issues easier to understand and more accessible to the everyday public. In America, you have one side arguing that Barack Obama is a fascist socialist who wants to kill your baby, and another side meekly arguing that we might want to consider regulating private corporations that are destroying the economy. The opposing sides aren't even talking to each other, just shouting slogans and relentlessly pitching to their bases. The news networks are only concerned with ratings and have set up camp to cater to their particular niche, a classic example of greed and short sightedness.

And one thing is clear, it won't end well.

There is only so long a country can maintain two deeply opposed narratives without bloodshed or serious social upheaval. We're seeing the Tea Bag movement become more and more militant and right wing extremist groups recruiting more and more followers while mainstream politicians pander to their fears through corporate funded media outlets. In short, a recipe for disaster in the not to far future.