I listened to the “balloon boy” saga unfold for an hour on the cable news networks. An hour of repeating the same information over and over and over and over again. Clearly, the anchors were struggling to fill in the time. One “expert” (on CNN I think) talked about the area the balloon flew over, commenting that “nothing” was out there. Nothing but farms, ranches and middle class Americans. But how would a minion of the media elite know that.
Now the repercussions have begin. The media goes completely berserk over a minor incident, blows it all out of proportion without knowing the facts, and now we will have several days of 24/7 coverage of “was it a hoax.”
This is the basic failing of 24-hour news. It is not news. In the early days of radio, having “dead air,” a period of time when the announcer or DJ did not speak, was a no no. Now the cable news networks are consumed by that rule. They must fill the airtime. That’s why we see car chases, missing dogs, errant balloons and assorted vehicle mishaps from all over the nation. It is not that these things didn’t happen before. It is just that the cable news nuts have the technology to bring them into your living room.
Much ado about nothing.