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?