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When I heard the Supreme Court was hearing cases over DOMA and Prop 8, I set out to find coverage over the event. So, I turned on the TV. First, I checked out CNN. They were mildly covering the story. Nothing deep there though. Just basic panel discussion. No real news outside of surface facts. Okay. So, then I turn to MSNBC. They were much more ... obvious I would say in their coverage, they were for gay marriage. No surprise there. But, still it was just panel discussion. So, I try out Fox News, with reluctance. Took a while to see any real coverage. Seemed like at first they didn't even want to touch the story. Finally though, they segmented to the hearing's story. The narrative was kind of similar to CNN actually. I still got the underlying message that they were somewhat against it (the typical conservative narrative) but they weren't too loud about it. Still though, no real news being told, outside of the fact that it was happening. Per usual, the big 3 continue to let me down.
Then, I found out that C-SPAN was discussing the issue. And, not only were they covering the issue, but they were also airing the actual audio from the supreme court hearing, in its entirety. This got me to perk up. So, I sat down to watch their channel for a bit. Honestly, it was the first time I have ever watched C-SPAN for longer than a minute or two. The channel had always bored me to tears before. And, on top of that, it always felt to me that only old and/or stuffy people watch that channel.
Much to my surprise their coverage, while albeit drier and less dazzling (no crazy graphics or anything like that) actually had depth. They were actually diving into the issue extensively. They were teaching me, as opposed to glossing over the surface and leaving me with empty panel bickering. The coverage consisted of a blend of caller comments and questions, experts talking in depth on the issue, covering history precedents that got us to were we are, and live footage from the supreme court. And, the live footage was the most compelling of all of it. They actually showed the protesters (both for and against) that were in front of the court. And, it wasn't just a quick soundbite or anything. They had a camera man just simply and slowly walk throughout the crowd, showing you for several minutes the live, uncut, non-narrated over reality of the situation. Gave me chills actually because I felt (in a sense) like I was actually there. It was rare. Unfiltered. Real. There was no underlying ideology being pushed. I didn't feel like I had to listen and watch with a grain of salt. It was refreshing. It felt like real news, something I haven't been exposed to in a long time, possibly ever since cable news decided to go 24 hours.
Maybe I'm late to the game discovering this. But, the contrast was so clear and ridiculous to me through my morning of channel-flipping that I felt compelled to share. Now, I understand the argument that the big 3 cover more wide-ranging issues than C-SPAN and have less time to devote to certain segments. But, only to a small extent does that argument hold any water whatsoever. They are beholden to worrying about ratings, advertisers, filtering their message and OUR news through a boss that said quite simply has media bias, because in most all cases, news networks are owned by big corporations with reps to protect. So, in a big way, they are tough to respect and believe, and I would go as far to say sometimes blatantly corrupted.
Thank you C-SPAN for your coverage over this issue. I am sure it's not the first time you out-covered the big 3 on a given issue. And, certainly seems like it won't be the last.