Thursday, December 25, 2008

MSNBC Doc-Blocked Again for Three Days

Christmas programming on the three all-news cable stations: live news on CNN, live news on Fox, and ... a 3-day Doc-Bloc, Lock-Up, "Marathon" on MSNBC!

Now, hard news today is admittedly light, but Fox had an important report about Ahmadinejad's upcoming speech on Channel 4 in the UK, CNN had some new analysis of Rahm Emanuel and Rod Blagojevich, and both had stories about troops celebrating Christmas, and the holidays around the world.

Over on MSNBC, beginning yesterday at 3pm, we've been treated to yet another round of documentaries, and a promise from David Shuster as he signed off yesterday that MSNBC would break in with any breaking news. Now, I have nothing against documentaries, and, in fact, I think they can make powerful and original contributions to our culture. But they are not the same as live news, or even replays of news that happened a few hours earlier. A documentary about Caylee Anthony - which has been on MSNBC at least three times since yesterday - is certainly topical, but right now MSNBC is showing a documentary from its "Crime and Punishment" series, "People v. Alfred Garcia". Ever heard of him? Do you want to?

This year, Christmas and Chanukah are being celebrated at the same time. Chanukah commemorates oil lamps that miraculously burned for eight days, when Judah and the Maccabees stood up to the Seleucid Empire. In remembrance of those days of light, presents are given for eight days.

If I could give a Chanukah present to MSNBC, it would be eight days of uninterrupted all-news programming. This would set them up well for the fierce competition in the all-news cable business in the New Year.

See also MSNBC Runs Canned 'Doc Bloc' as Mumbai Burns
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