Brief History Of Modern Fake News by MrOT

Ever wonder how we got to fake news? Read on...

Once upon a time there was actual news. Then there wasn't. How come?


Most TTownies weren't around back in the good old days before CNN. CNN came along in 1980 before many places even had cablevision. I still have a cassette tape around here somewhere with the audio of their grand opening. (We had cable by then.) 
Whereas at the time ABC, NBC, and CBS were that they had a home office, programming, and a slew of local TV stations, CNN never was a network...nor is it today.
Before CNN the big 3 ran a half hour of news at 5 or 6....or even 8PM...depending on the locale...and that was it. It was ALL news. Of course, there was skew and slant...but mostly we didn't notice.
Then came CNN. CNN tried to be a network....a network without affiliates. It did this with dedicated news bureaus. It was a faulty and expensive plan.
The saving of CNN came in January 1995 when they began 24 hour coverage of the OJ trial. They learned that a news channel doesn't really need news. Or bureaus. All it really needs is a set and talking heads. A set,and talking heads...many of the talkers not being paid a nickel, they found, is vastly cheaper than staffing international bureaus.

CNN introduced opinion news.

Opinion news was fun at first. Something brand new. By and by the other cable news networks came along and got into the act. And by and by even the nightly news on the big 3 got with it.

And we get only a few minutes of news in the 24 hour news cycle and 23+ hours of low cost opinion. Even the anchors opinionate.

CNN killed traditional news. And if you are under a certain age you don't even realize this because you simply do not have nor can you get enough historical information to know it. You think it's always been like this. ( can't get it on Twitter anyway.)

Modern news is theater. And bad theater at that. Modern news is not news. Still, like when we describe video we call it filming, because we haven't made the transition from the word news to an all encompassing new word for it today. There are many candidates but none have stuck. Fake news is like saying fake film. There is a better description coming some day.

So, if you just got off the last bus...this is how fake news was born. Got CNN to thank for that.