But the reason it’s hard for political pros in DC to grasp this is that people in Washington are constantly watching cable news. It’s really weird. Obviously there’s no way to make this happen, but I think our politics would get a lot healthier if you could simply prevent anyone from watching it during working hours. People would find out that total ignorance of what’s on TV would leave them about as in touch with their constituents are they are right now since nobody watches cable news. By contrast, outlets that really are influential in terms of determining what people know—things like local broadcast TV news—are never watched by DC political professionals because you can’t see them without living in the local area.The problem is the national media acts as a force multiplier for cable news stories, and that in turn acts as a multiplier for other news outlets. The Villagers think this is what America wants to hear, because it's what the Villagers hear all day.
The Village decides what's news, but the Villagers are always scouting the cable networks for what news is. Feed the Village, feed America. FOX News has definitely figured that out.
The Massa story is a prime example. My mom wouldn't know Eric Massa from Erik Estrada. But he got wall-to-wall coverage today because the Village thinks he's what matters. I seriously doubt America really could give a damn about him compared to paying the bills, keeping the kids in school and working their job.