I have been watching ABC News each weeknight for the past five or so years. I have settled on it as my news home, if you will. Don’t get me wrong: I still read other news-related sources. But I regularly watch ABC News to keep current on news events.
It took me a while to find a news home, to tell you the truth. I would watch Tom Brokaw, whom my family watched at dinnertime back when I was growing up, but then Brian Williams replaced him, and he could not quite hold my attention. I tried out Katie Couric after watching the Palin interviews, but, while she was definitely nice to look at, she was just too formal for my taste. She also seemed like she was trying to mow people down in interviews.
I decided to watch Hardball on MSNBC because I respected Chris Matthews’ knowledge of history and appreciation for the strengths and foibles of the past and contemporary figures of American politics. But that show was a turnoff to me because Chris was obsessed with the birther movement and grilled his guests for pronouncing “Cheney” as “ChAY-ney” rather than “ChEEny.” (I found Chris’ weekly program to be a lot better, though.)
I tried out Bill O’Reilly. I grew up watching him during dinnertime with my family, after all, back when he had more hair and was hosting Inside Edition (and he did a pretty good job on that show—-it exposed corruption on all sides rather than being political propaganda for one side). O’Reilly had charisma, but I got sick of him shouting at his guests. I watched Glenn Beck and got tired of his rants about Paul Revere and saving America. I tried out Hannity and Colmes, but so much of that was Republican vs. Democrat and each side attacking the inconsistencies of the other side.
My more intellectual friends liked PBS, but I found that to be very dry. I did not care for the dramatics and dogmatism of Fox News and MSNBC, but I was looking for something that I enjoyed watching, that could hold my attention.
Then one day, I was flipping through channels and came across Diane Sawyer on ABC News. This wasn’t the first time that I saw Diane Sawyer on TV—-I knew who she was and had seen a number of her interviews (such as her interview with Mel Gibson during the Passion of the Christ controversy). But this may have been the first time when I noticed her in the anchor’s chair, and she was holding my attention when she spoke. She also had a warm, gentle demeanor. She asked the hard questions, but there was a gentleness about how she went about doing so.
Over time, I have come to appreciate other things about ABC News. I like how it cares for its viewers and tries to make the world a better place. It has stories about how they can save money and find work-at-home jobs, and it encouraged people to buy American. It seems to love the people it features, with all of their strengths and foibles. It has positive, inspiring stories, in addition to the bad news that is usually the news. I wouldn’t be surprised if other networks have these things, too, but I have come to appreciate them on ABC News.