So CNN’s Crossfire is dead, or as good as dead. They’ve moved it to a deadly ghetto timeslot -- 4:30 pm. Crossfire’s old 7:00 pm timeslot is the new home of an evening Paula Zhann show, not that we weren’t already seeing enough of her on CNN’s American Morning. This is the last straw for me and cable news -- Fox’s rightwing propaganda and subsequent ratings success has prompted all the other networks to follow suit in a desperate attempt to appeal to all those people out there in the “Red” states that went to George W. Bush in the election. Crossfire was the only cable news program that offered a real left-wing point of view, albeit watered down by milquetoast Paul Begala and the largely absent (though terrific) James Carville.

I feel as though I woke up one morning to find that I’d been moved to another country against my will. I turn on the television and see nothing but right-wing spin masquerading as news, and even the once fair-minded Washington Post shows zero dissent. The only time anyone talks about the opposition is to criticize them and question their patriotism. Chris Matthews constantly asks his MSNBC and syndicated guests: “Why do Americans love George W. Bush so much? Why is it that they’ve really bonded with the guy?”

I’m reminded of an account I once read of North Korean television. “All hail the great leader! He is great! Why is he great? He just is.”

At work, I’m surrounded by optimists, people convinced that the Democrats have a chance against Bush in 2004. Most of America gets their news from television, and all the news networks have rolled over and showed Dubya their soft, fat throats. How will any opposition candidate get their message out in this environment? The simple answer is that they can’t.

To try to salvage the illusion of living a free country with an independent press, I’ve decided to stop watching television news. From now on it’s just NPR, and the New York Times for me. I’ve even given up my beloved Washington Post. If the advertisers who fund television news networks want my eyeballs, they should tell the programming robots to start offering objective coverage, again.