I'm re-posting only the part of Frank's article that is actually worth posting (imo).
The media has failed this nation
Nov 06, 2016 10:30am CST by Frank Vyan Walton
Just two days from now, America will make a [-] choice between two diametrically opposed candidates. As we grow ever closer to that decision, it becomes ever more clear that as an institution, the media—particularly on cable television—has abjectly failed to serve the needs of the public.
This is, of course, not a new situation. It has been long time coming, ever since the basic idea of conducting true investigations—to find and then report definitive facts that have been vetted and verified—was supplanted with an endless cavalcade of mindless bickering and cross-talk over subjective, myopic, self-serving opinion. Cable news talking heads act as if the more frequent and loud Jerry Springer moments are in some way enlightening or illuminating to the underlying issues at hand.
To put it bluntly, they are not.
It’s not that the entire media is biased in a partisan way, or that they’re all secretly Democrats or secretly Republicans, deliberately putting their thumb on the scale for one candidate or another. Well, excluding Fox News that is—but MSNBC, which does tend to have decidedly progressive correspondents such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes, also has several hours of airtime everyday featuring former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough. He certainly isn’t sympathetic to progressive views, despite the long-suffering and sotto voce grumbling of his co-host Mika Brzezinski.
While Fox may serve us the unfiltered conservative view and MSNBC offers a heavily watered-down progressive alternative, CNN attempts to provide both at once while claiming to remain somehow above the fray and “neutral.” Yet CNN manages to fail repeatedly and miserably.
Facts are not partisan. Facts don’t favor any particular candidate or perspective. They are simply facts.
Sometimes there is no “equal and opposite side”—sometimes it’s just the facts.
Each outlet continues to fail largely because instead of spreading the field and covering a wide variety of subjects, they all tend to behave like a set of 6-year-olds playing soccer without a coach. All they do is chase the [ratings] ball, rather than broaden the conversation and provide context. This drive to constantly chase the political soccer ball of the moment is exactly what seems to have driven Melissa Harris-Perry off the air at MSNBC.
[Harris] said the network wanted her to do more “horserace election coverage,” and she refused to come on the air to do that, even after the network asked her to come back on––”I felt that they were asking me to come back to anchor my hours, but not to actually host my show.”
Harris-Perry revealed that there was some tension when one of the network higher-ups told her she couldn’t do a segment on the issues raised by Beyoncé‘s “Formation” video.
In addition to this there is also the problem that many years ago, TV (and even radio and some print) media became divorced from the idea of simply presenting facts—without turning everything into an opinion-based commentary on those facts. I’m old enough to remember when things were different. I’m old enough to remember when we used to have something called the Fairness Doctrine. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was — in the Commission's view — honest, equitable, and balanced. The FCC eliminated the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been considered by some to be a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States.
The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints. In 1969 the United States Supreme Court upheld the FCC's general rightto enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels were limited. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was obliged to do so.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine#cite_note-RedLion-4
The courts reasoned that the scarcity of the broadcast spectrum, which limited the opportunity for access to the airwaves, created a need for the Doctrine. However, the proliferation of cable television, multiple channels within cable, public-access channels, and the Internet have eroded this argument, since there are plenty of places for ordinary individuals to make public comments on controversial issues at low or no cost at all.
Under the Fairness Doctrine, facts were facts and opinions were opinions. During a news broadcast, what was presented for public consumption were. the. facts. No spin. No opinion. No gray area. No on the one hand this but on the other hand that. Once the factual reporting was done, if a corespondent wanted to offer an opinion or editorial on a particular subject it was marked and documented as such.
Now nothing is marked or identified as an opinion—because everything is a matter of opinion. Everything would now have to be marked as an “editorial” because that is almost all we actually see, and most of what we read. Everyone has an opinion, and figures that that opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s opinion of what facts matter and which facts don’t matter.
Annoyingly Frank then uses this context to press his own agenda.
I find it concerning that the Fairness Doctrine was removed as soon as it was easy for citizens to get a wide variety of opinions (via technology). There IS a more fundamental issue here on suggestibility of a democracy - which is the real hot potato.