Reality TV That’s News Rather Than Entertainment

The cable news networks have ceased being anything about news – they’re reality entertainment vying desperately to hook our attention. So where is there decent non-fiction TV? “I?m sometimes ambivalent about the self-declared good intentions of public television, as I am about a culture that now gives trophies to kids for merely participating in a sport, regardless of how well they perform. And public television itself often seems ambivalent about its identity, unsure whether it wants to be a macramé plant holder or a shiny electric scooter from the Sharper Image. It often ends up somewhere in between, resorting to middle-of-the-road, commercial fare?Deepak Chopra, Suze Orman, nostalgic pop-music shows?to pull in money at fund-raising time. But, at the end of the day, I would, and do, support public television?s inclusiveness, with all its occasionally tedious shagginess.”