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Smerconish Blames “Pro-Wrestling” Approach to News for D.C Divisions

Smerconish said the rise of hosts like Rush Limbaugh and others of his same ilk changed the business model, shifting focus away from local hosts to nationally syndicated ones.

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Photo by IVN News CC BY 2.0

Media personality Michael Smerconish took to Twitter early Wednesday morning to share his thoughts about what and who was driving the deep partisanship in Washington D.C.:  The professional wrestling approach to news, fathered by Rush Limbaugh and followed by many others.

Smerconish teased his revelation on Twitter with a link to his website that contained an extended nine minute clip from Smerconish’s recent documentary, The Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking. In a post to his website, which has since been deleted, Smerconish urges readers to purchase the entire full length documentary, but “this nine minute clip is the most important to show how the media is driving the partisanship in Washington”. The clip can still be found on Facebook.

“When I first started out in radio 30 years ago, (hosts’) personality mattered, not ideology,” Smerconish said in the clip. “They weren’t on air because of a political perspective but because they could tell stories.”

Smerconish said the rise of hosts like Limbaugh and others of his same ilk changed the business model, shifting focus away from local hosts to nationally syndicated ones.

“When I was getting started, AM radio was in trouble, FM was taking over,” Smerconish said. “AM radio needed a savior and they found it in Rush Limbaugh… Conservatives rightfully felt shutout of the mainstream media and he is a gifted showman who filled that void and created this clubhouse for conservatives.”

While Smerconish believes that Limbaugh provided a needed voice for conservatives, he and similar radio and TV hosts that followed changed the political climate in Washington.

“When Fox News came along in 1996 and later MSNBC, they took a page from that playbook,” he said. “Now the business model was toned down to entertainment masked as news. It’s like professional wrestling, good for ratings, good for revenue bad for the country. You have good guy vs bad guys, constant conflict and a predetermined outcome.”

Smerconish concludes that the pro wrestling approach to news is the major driving force between the political divisions within the United States.

“The media has moved to extremes,” he said. “The rise of polarization in Washington directly correlates with the changes in broadcasting I am describing. Pre-Limbaugh, 60 percent of the House and Senate were comprised of moderates. By 2010, every Senate Republican was more conservative than every Senate Democrat and every Senate Democrat was more liberal than every Senate Republican. In the 1970’s, members of Congress would vote with his or her party about 60 percent of the time. Now the typical member of Congress votes with their party more than 90 percent of the time.”

The clip ends with Smerconish claiming that while there were many factors that caused this change, media was the driving force behind it.

“Look, I’m not trying to blame this all on the media,” he said. “Social media is an issue. The beer muscles that come from anonymity online has fueled incivility and polarization, but mostly this is what happens when Washington takes its ques from those with microphones and not the vast majority of the people. When politicians follow the modern era pro-wrestling approach to news, the nation suffers. For that to change, people need to change the channel.”

News Print & Digital

CBS Transitioning From CBSN to New Streaming Service Platform

The identity change assists in sealing a broader concept of a fluid unit as CBS emphasizes national and local newsgathering.

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In 2014, CBSN made the first attempt by one of the traditional broadcast networks to dip its toes into the news streaming game. However, now in 2021, CBS News has plans to phase out CBSN later this year. 

A spokesperson for CBS News confirmed the different direction that the company is taking with its new platform, CBS News. Employees who staff the streaming service will be moving to the studio previously utilized by “CBS This Morning,” which left for Times Square. 

“As a unified organization, we’ll offer a choreography of coverage across all of our platforms, that includes unparalleled, expansive on-the-ground reporting from New York to L.A., Chicago to Dallas, London to Beijing, and everywhere in between,” Neeraj Khemlani said.

The identity change assists in sealing a broader concept of a fluid unit as CBS emphasizes national and local newsgathering.

“We’re not just seeing streaming growth nationally. CBS local news streaming is growing year-over-year as well. By unifying these organizations, we’re building on this momentum,” Wendy McMahon said.

Execs at various media outlets such as CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, ABC News, and Fox News establish more attention on streaming news services. 

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News Print & Digital

Trial Underway for Driver Accused of Killing Radio Host Don Hall in Crash

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GoShockers.com

KAKE News is covering the trial of Ray Watkins.

Watkins, 44, is being charged with involuntary man slaughter for the death of Wichita Radio Host Don Hall.

Hall, who was 70 at the time of his passing, was a host on KEYN, and a well known radio voice and personality in the Wichita area.

According to KAKE, an officer on scene the night of the accident reported seeing empty beer and liquor bottles on the floor of Watkins’ vehicle.

Reporter Taylor Boser has the thread…

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News Print & Digital

NYT Reports Facebook Is Using Feed to Display Positive News About Itself

The Times reports Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg approved a Project Amplify recently to use the platform’s News Feed to display users positive stories about itself. 

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Facebook is dealing with a lot of negative publicity as the social media platform’s VP of Global Affairs criticized the five-part Wall Street Journal series on the company. However, there’s more reporting coming out, this time from The New York Times

The Times reports Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg approved a Project Amplify recently to use the platform’s News Feed to display users positive stories about itself. 

Furthermore, the newspaper adds that some of this positive content Facebook created to help improve its public perception towards the social media outlets 3 billion global users.

The offensive tactic involved changing narratives to distance Zuckerberg from scandals, restricting outsider access to its internal data, suppressing any negative news about its content, and increasing its ads to promote the brand.

According to the report, Project Amplify involved execs over its marketing, communications, policy, and integrity teams. Alex Schultz, chief marketing officer, stated five people worked alongside him on this rebranding task. However, Zuckerberg had approved all of those arrangements.

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