Two weeks ago, we mentioned how Vanity Fair intern Thomas Kaplan, who’s an incoming senior at Yale, was being subjected by his editors to 4 days (32 hours) of cable news in a small room at the VF office.
“It was the idea of my boss, Michael Hogan, the executive online editor for VF,” Tom told us. “He was at the gym one day, surrounded by flat-screen TVs turned to cable news, and that’s where it came to him.”
After days of sitting in “basically a closet with shelves of books,” watching cable news on a small tube television (tube television?!), Kaplan tells us, “The results were mixed. on the one hand, I survived, and it was not entirely torturous. I had never really watched CNBC before, and that was an eye-opening (and intensely frightening) experience. I was complaining on twitter about the five-way split screen, and how I felt like I might have a seizure.”
If cable news is so brutal, why is it so popular then? “In smaller doses, I can understand the allure–it WAS entertaining, and certainly passes the time if you’re sitting at home with nothing to do. The other thing is that cable news is obviously of much greater value when there is, well, news. Basically nothing happened in the world while I was watching.”
Finally, we asked Kaplan if he realized that his supposed “torture scenario” is part of the TVNewser job description: “I feel for you–I mean, watching cable news as a job, that’s got to take a toll on your health after a while!”