The 24 hour “news” cycle actually contains about 20 minutes of real, actual, verified news. The other 23 hours and 40 minutes is a never-ending cycle of fluff and downright crap that’s carefully disguised as relevant INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.
The typical model is as follows- the anchor gives you the headline and the most important parts of the story and pay attention, because this might be the only things we know for sure. Now we go to the reporter “on the scene”…and sometimes we have to take their word for it, because it’s pitch black and the reporter could be standing in a broom closet for all we know. The reporter gives more details about the story, and may even repeat a few rumors they’ve heard, but it’s totally okay to repeat these rumors as long as you say “We haven’t been able to confirm this information, and I cannot stress this enough, it’s only conjecture at this time, and it may turn out to not contain any facts at all, but we want to pass along this non-information as it comes in instead of actually checking to see if it’s true before saying it. Now back to you in the studio”.
In the studio the anchors have two experts representing opposing views to the story standing by, ready to shout about these non-facts for glorious time-wasting minutes on end. If you’re just tuning in during this segment you might be alarmed to learn that it was Hillary Clinton’s positions on foreign policy that caused the Napa earthquake, or the left blames George W. Bush for everything up to and including Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe malfunction at last night’s VMA’s….Oh wait, that’s just two opinionated blow holes saying whatever fits into the talking points they wanted to make in the first place.
Now let’s go to the weather, where it’s not enough to tell you a hurricane is coming, let’s go to the meteorologist that drew the short straw and is standing outside in said hurricane, hoping he’s not swept away by the 120 mph winds and high tide he’ll tell you about in literally breathless detail. Throw in a couple of helicopter shots of a car chase in L.A. I could care less about and a skiing squirrel and we’re ready to recycle all of this at the top of the next hour. Now BACK TO YOU IN THE STUDIO!