The diluted news

Fox News attempts to distract us from the real meaning of the Manafort indictments

It seems fitting that this past week indictments would come down and details come out regarding Paul Manafort’s alleged collusion with Russia and other wrongdoings—including conspiracy against the United States. After all, hasn’t President Trump, for whom Manafort served as campaign manager, told us all along to look the other way, that there was nothing worth talking about regarding Russia—indeed, that it was “fake news”?

It’s fitting because this week the CN&R’s cover story is all about the “junk food news” diet we’ve been on for the past year or so. That refers mostly to television news, the article explains, as that’s the main source of news for most people in this day and age. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the medium and its reliance on ratings, “quality information becomes secondary to entertainment value.” All that entertainment serves to distract us from what’s actually going on, the stories that really matter.

A case in point: On Monday morning, as news of a grand jury’s indictment of Manafort and his associate Rick Gates was making round-the-clock news on most outlets, Fox News, which is notoriously pro-Trump, stressed the message that it had nothing to do with the president. Ample screen time was given to those, like Trump mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway, who brought the issue, inexplicably, back to Hillary Clinton.

This week, too, CNN issued a report based on interviews with anonymous Fox News employees who expressed embarrassment at their network’s coverage. One of them went so far to say, “This kind of coverage does the viewer a huge disservice and further divides the country.” We agree. We should expect more.