Why all commercials?
It’s what we have come to accept
You sit down to watch the news. Several talking heads discuss gun control, the fiscal cliff, or an issue of the day. Before the pundits have a chance to wet their whistle and make a point or counter point, the anchor breaks in to inform us of a commercial. What follows? Not one, not two, not three commercials – it can be five minutes later before the viewer is returned to the discussion. By that time, most of us have forgotten the subject and the point.
It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time and not so long ago it was highly unusual for a programing break to extend through two back-to-back commercials. The the longer and longer breaks in programing has grown into a carnival side show that diminishes the programing. A cable television news show, which we already pay to view, has become little more than an infomercial with the news peppered in where it fits.
Try to find a breakdown of broadcast time vs. commercial time
I tried to do this for an entire morning only to find graphs, studies, and comparisons all based on the broadcast industry interests. You can find who is watching when and what during any given cycle, and who is gaining in viewers and who is losing – but it is nearly impossible to find a graph or study to reveal the balance of broadcast programing vs commercials.
One article from Documentary Org suggested that the lack of data is intentional.
Did you know how much top cable pundits make?
I expected that the anchors, pictured at the right, might be well in the $400,000 range and would expect a tax increase. They work hard. There life is full of deadlines and stress. Even so, aren’t you a bit flummoxed that their salaries are in the millions of dollars? Just look at the “Sale” tags that reveal the salaries. Do any of the pundits work 4 or 5 times harder than the President of the United States who pulls down $400,000 in chump change when compared to Bill O’Reilly who pulls down five times as much!
The salaries of some top anchors at the right were gleaned from an article in the “Daily Beast” with a slightly different focus:
The point of the “Daily Beast” article was to show that Fox was spending much more on O’Reilly ($6.67 per viewer)to get nearly the same “bang for the buck” as MSNBC was getting with Chris Mathews ($6.23 per viewer)while ONLY paying him $5 million. (You can find a larger sampling of anchors and salaries at the “Daily Beast” link above).
But, what is the message to be drawn here? Cable pundits are paid 3 -5 times more than any government office holder including the President? Is silent acceptance of the role of corporate media and the control of politically messaging tilting democracy off balance? Will we allow commercial messages to grow unabated in programing that the we already pay for?
Even the Cable Networks are beginning to notice
“The O’Reilly Factor”