New TV Channel

So Al Gore is popping up in the news making himself look like an asshat yet again. He finally managed to buy that weird cable channel I flip past where foreigners read the news in other languages.

There’s a couple of things I find amusing about this, not the least of which is the former Veep’s insistence that the channel will have “no political agenda”. Yeah, right. The headquarters is in San Francisco, the president of programming used to work at CNN, and Al Gore is the chairman of the board. Yeah, I can see how there’s no chance of an agenda-driven network happening. Rock the Vote is non-partisan, too, right?

I also like how Al Gore thinks television is “the dominant media of our time”. Hmm. I’m going to hazard a guess that the Internet is the dominant media of our time, but that may well hinge on how you define “dominant”. In any event, a network that reaches 19 million homes doesn’t strike me as dominant no matter how you define the word. Given the variety of cable channels I already have and don’t watch, they’re going to have to provide some compelling reason to watch.

The proposed programming doesn’t strike me as all that compelling. The strategy is to make half of the station’s programming viewer-submitted video. On the surface, this might seem like a good idea. After all, reality TV is popular and cheap, right? However, speaking as someone who’s watched a lot of late-night television, this is bound to fail. This is an expensive commercial version of public-access programming. That ain’t gonna get them enough market share to make it worthwhile. Sturgeon’s Law is the issue here. They have to hope that the viewer submitted video is worth watching. Most of it won’t be.

However, as a firm supporter of free markets and free speech, I applaud the concept. More voices means more noise, or more cacophony, or something. Why is it that more voices is good, again? I forget. However, I'm assuming it is. So yay! More poorly-shot crappily-produced video that pushes somebody's worldview with no fact-checking or editing! You'd think CBS had the market locked up, but what do I know?

I also like Mr. Gore desperately pandering to the youths of America again. After all, that worked so well for his campaign, didn't it? Too bad the youths turned out to not care a whole lot. We'll see if they care anymore this time around. I know I won't.


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