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What Does Your Cable News Choice Say About You?

On Sunday night, I was at home, recording 60 Minutes while I finished working on a project. All of a sudden, my mother came rushing into the room, saying, “Turn on the television!” She had been watching CNN, and Wolf Blitzer had announced that President Barack Obama was going to address the nation on a national security issue. My stomach instantly sank, and I thought, “What could possibly happen now?” Was there a missile headed in our direction? Were we going to war with Libya? Or was Obama finally going to announce that he really is a Muslim?! (I’m kidding, I’m kidding.)

As we all know now, Obama’s big announcement was the death of Osama bin Laden. That was the last thing I was expecting to hear, and of course, I stayed glued to the television for hours as tiny details kept coming in. Since then, I’ve more or less just been watching CNN when I’m at home, waiting to hear whatever else is new with this major event.

I didn’t even second guess turning it to CNN, despite the fact that there is 24/7 news on MSNBC, Fox News, Headline News, etc., and the major networks were also covering the story. For some reason, I always choose CNN. I enjoy hearing what Wolf Blitzer has to say in his Situation Room, and although Anderson Cooper sometimes makes it all about him, I still trust what he tells me. I don’t have a love affair with all things CNN, though; I am not a huge fan of Piers Morgan, and watching him just makes me miss Larry King and his weird tangents and love of suspenders.

As the title suggests, I’m curious as to what a cable news choice says about a person. What does it mean that I always turn to CNN? Anything? Nothing? What would it mean if I switched to MSNBC? Despite Fox News saying they are fair and balanced and don’t cater to the right, I find that most conservative people I know choose Fox and say it’s because they agree with their ideology. When I am at my local Macy’s, the televisions outside the dressing rooms are always showing Fox News. Is it a company policy? Do they think I live in a more conservative area, and they should show that channel? Maybe they shouldn’t even show the news. Turn it to the Style network instead, Macy’s!

It’s probably just as simple as me being used to watching big events on CNN, as it is the pioneering cable news network. I saw the events of Waco, Oklahoma City, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and more unfold on CNN, and it’s probably just an instinct by now.

There are millions of people who don’t care what channel they’re watching, just as long as they get the information they’re looking for, but I still feel that for every casual viewer, there is a hardcore news junkie who won’t take their news from anyone but MSNBC, or Brian Williams. What do you guys think? Does it matter to you what channel you’re watching? What makes you pick the channels that you do?

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

15 replies on “What Does Your Cable News Choice Say About You?”

We prefer MSNBC in our house, but sometimes the liberal fawning annoys even me, a very bleeding heart liberal. Maddow cannot be beat and I want her to run for president. Husband likes to switch around news channels, particularly to Fox, so he can see how the other side is spinning a story. I can tolerate that for about 2 minutes before I have to change it back.

Fox News is on all day long at my in-laws house, unless my nephew is watching cartoons. And by all day, I mean ALL DAY. I went over there the other night, nobody was home, yet Bill O’Reilly was squawking at me from the TV. So creepy.

My go-to is either BBC International or Al-Jazeera. But, since my cable doesn’t offer either, I usually end up glued to CNN. If I’m by the computer though, it’ll be one of the former.

Though I must say, NBC is slowly catching up…I found their coverage of the whole Bin Laden death to be a lot less irritating than CNN.

If I watch cable news it’ll be CBC Newsworld. I generally like most of the people on the channel, minus Mark Kelly, who likes himself way to much to be compelling. But I generally find it pretty straightforward with little embellishment.

May be worth nothing that my very conservative grandfather thinks the CBC is run by Communists. But there you go.

Ha, I just had an argument with someone about Mark Kelly. He drives me insane — why is he always in the shot when he’s interviewing people. Always!

That said, I always watch CNN if “something” is happening (i.e. the Bin Laden announcement, etc.) but I only turn it on if something’s up. I watch CBC’s the National (for some reason always on Newsworld, not the regular Ceeb) every night, especially if the At Issue panel is on because I love Chantal Hebert.

Mark Kelly’s favourite story is Mark Kelly. Mark Kelly’s favourite subject is Mark Kelly. Mark Kelly strikes me as the kind of dude who loses track of time looking at his reflection. I first started disliking when during Obama’s speech following the Tucson shootings Kelly kept switching to himself to comment… during the speech. Ugh, man, I do not care!

Did you know Mansbridge is a huge ladies man but keeps it under wraps? I’ve heard really ridiculous stories.

I’ve heard that too. I know a few people who work for the CBC who have told me those kinds of things. I try not to think about it when I’m watching the news. Though I almost barf on a nightly basis when I watch him flirt with Claire Martin. It’s shameless.

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