‘Is TV Starting a New Civil War?’

By Alissa Krinsky 

“A generation ago, no matter how divided their politics, Americans got their news from the same source,” writes TV Guide‘s Ileane Rudolph, in a story titled ‘Is TV Starting a New Civil War?’. “The advent of politically partisan cable news networks changed the game.”

According to Rudolph, FNC’s Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz “inflame their eager fans with colorful, merciless and sometimes misleading attacks on the opposition.”

MSNBC president Phil Griffin is interviewed. “Our viewers get their news from a lot of different places, then come to us because they connect with one of our hosts,” he says. “They trust their analysis…It gets a lot of attention, but the people who [complain] want the world to be like 1960, when we had three networks and you didn’t hear what people felt.”

Rudolph asks Griffin about Olbermann’s January comments about Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. “Mistakes are made and corrections are made…There might be provocative stuff out there, and that’s good, but it has to be based on the facts. When you hear [Beck say he believes] Obama’s a racist, I don’t think that’s doing anybody any good. But to blame cynicism against government on a couple of voices in cable news — that’s absurd.”