I’m Taking the No-Cable Pledge: I will not watch MSNBC, FOX News, or CNN or any other cable news network until after the election.

I have decided to take a pledge. Now, I’m not normally a pledge taker, but for the sake of my sanity I am willing to make this one exception because I think my own peacefulness might just hang in the balance. I’m calling it the “no-cable pledge.” Here it is: “I pledge that I will not watch MSNBC, FOX News, or CNN or any other cable news network until after the election.” I want you to take the pledge, too. Here’s why…

Cable news is completely toxic.
Cable news personalities and pundits tell me only two things: who I should fear and who I should blame. If I watch FOX News I become angry at the Democrats. If I watch MSNBC I become angry at the right wing of the Republican Party. If I watch CNN I just become indiscriminately angry. This much anger and blaming is toxic to the human person. Who needs that?

Cable News is not really news.
Cable news is more opinion than news. 24 hour news channels are not trying to perform the essential function of informing our society. Cable news networks show us 24 hours of equal parts political blood-sport and political infomercials, and watching it is like purchasing a ticket to the Roman Colosseum. I miss Walter Cronkite.

Cable news will poison your mind.
Cable news trains us to hate people that we would not otherwise hate. They need us to hate each other because they are not unlike the ectoplasmic slime from Ghostbusters 2, they feed off hatred. (Too much with the Ghostbusters 2 reference?). It almost seems as though cable news channels don’t care if hatred destroys our society as long as their ratings are up. Even in small doses, that sort of imbalanced, distorted thinking will poison our minds. My brain (you brain, too), doesn’t need to deal with this.

Cable News will never change until we refuse to watch!
We all have differing political opinions, but at the end of the day we are all neighbors. Even those of us with strong political opinions genuinely care about even the people who see things differently. We are not enemies. Folks on the other side of the aisle are not the devils they are made out to be on the news channels.

There is a simple fix: Simply turn them off.

I’m taking the “no-cable pledge,” and I invite you to do the same. I will still read print journalists and some of the online stuff – though I’ll be careful there as well – but I will not watch cable news on television or online. If I need a newscast fix I might watch one of the major network newscasts, or PBS. I’m done with MSNBC, FOX News, and CNN until all the votes are cast.

Help me spread the word by sharing this on Facebook & wherever you are plugged in to social media. Copy the lousy icon I made & send it around. Talk it up, people! Let’s take the pledge, and spread the civility and peacefulness!

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • John R Huff II

    I am sorry to disappoint you, but I love to watch MSNBC. I never get anywhere near FOX, and I watch some parts of CNN. My favorite is NPR. PBS is really no longer news worthy since cable took over. I will watch some programs. I love to hate the Republicans. I always have and will. No, I disagree. I have very strong political opinions and I don’t care about others who see things differently. They are neighbors in name only and that goes for the Republicans in my church as well. I know this may sound extreme, but when it comes to politics, there is only one way: STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC.

    • scott stone

      “I love to hate the Republicans. I always have and will.” Isn’t that rather close minded? Certitude will suppress growth like nothing else.

      • John R Huff II

        No, I don’t believe so. I know my politics and act accordingly. It is rather open minded. I am old enough to have lived and seen the effect of people who are republicans. Don’t ever disagree with me or you will lose me as a friend quicker than any other way. You may call it what you wish Scott Stone.

        • Angie Shuster

          I call it bigotry.

  • Tim Suttle

    Doh! Just say no John! Hate is the path to the dark side! Once you go down that path… forever will it control your destiny! Take the #nocablepledge

    • John R Huff II

      Did I even get close to using or saying Hate? I hate what they stand for, not the persons.

      • Tim Suttle

        I was just going off your statement “I love to hate the Republicans.” Come on John… I know you want to take the pledge :-) even just a little bit? #nocablepledge

        • John R Huff II

          Even if I did a little, I can’t do it. I love politics too much to give in. I have to watch Rachel Maddow. Just can’t live without her.

  • D

    Question, why stop the ban after the elections? The fact that they are more opinionated than facts-only-journalism exists beyond the election months.
    You are correct, as long as people watch their opinions, they will pander to the opinions only and not offer unbiased news reporting – year round, year after year after year. Why not demand something better?

    • Tim Suttle

      it’s not a deal breaker… you can keep it going as long as you’d like. However, between now and the election will be when we will all be much more tempted to indulge in the ugly that we find there. Why not take the #nocablepledge instead?

    • John R Huff II

      There is no such thing as unbiased news reporting. It is impossible to do. People are biased. Nothing wrong with it. It is even hard to be unbiased in interpreting the laws. Look at the right wing kooks on the Supreme Court. Disgraceful.

  • Stan

    Network news is not any better. I pledge to not watch that either….or read politico.com, heritage, or huffington post.

  • Alan Conwell

    Your pledge might be a good idea, but where can we find the truth about what’s happening in our country and the world? Everyone has a bias to some extent. Even Walter Cronkite. I watched him every night while I was going to KSU. The Vietnam War was hot then and Walter couldn’t hide his bent and I agreed with him. I think I will still watch them all, but with with great skepticism.

    • John R Huff II

      You said it perfectly. Of course there is bias.

  • Scott Stone

    Giddy up! I’m on board. Already stopped watching MSNBC and Fox. All I have to do is add CNN, which I never watched anyway.

  • Teri Reynolds

    I pledge too, but don’t need to do it. I can’t watch any of them. This was posted to my fb account too. :) Keep ‘em thinking, Tim.

  • http://towardfatherhood.com j oliver

    Yep! This was worth saying. Thanks Tim! I hope this takes off like a talking cat video.

    j oliver

  • Jon Black

    If I stop watching, who then will think for me?….. kidding.

    What about the major network news? Are they not biased as well?

  • Jon Black

    If I stop watching the cable news, who then will think for me?….. kidding.
    And what about the major network news? Are they not biased as well?

  • Sheldon K.

    I don’t see your logic in leaving off cable news. The one without bias has not yet been born, nor ever shall be (leaving off that One that conquered death). We are who we are and we ALL have our own biases. Only computers are without bias. Ask only one question of yourself: do I love Truth? Only make sure of that and you can watch, read or listen to whomever you wish and you can be confident that you shall not err. If a man will love Truth, Truth shall always be his friend. Harbor hatred for the sake of hatred, indulge knowingly in what you know are lies and you shall certainly err. Any kind of statement that has a correspondence with true reality will have the power of light. False statements have power, too, but it’s the kind of power darkness possesses.

  • Sheldon K.

    I’m aware that in some circles it’s rather popular to demonize Fox News. But they’re hated for their right leaning rather than their integrity. Their meteoric success has clearly to do with their setting before the public two opposing views, one from each party, and has proven to be wisdom. Many critics only know of Hannity. I dare you to watch Bret Baer’s Special Report at 5 central time. True, it is biased to conservative, but on a scale of 1 through 10 I think one could put it at about 3 or 4. But Rachel Maddow, Mr. Ed and Hardball w. Chris Matthews?—who would argue that they are fair? One would have to put them at 8 or 9 on the bias scale, along with Hannity on Fox.

    I understand that if people are passionate about their left leaning politics they are going to hate Fox News. But an honest person cannot say they are even close to the bias of MSNBC or CNN or any of the main networks. Fox News has merely taken their cue from Solomon, who wisely said so long ago, that every man’s story sounds reasonable until you hear the other side or view set forth. This particular practice, that was started by Fox News, and to a certain extent copied by others, has found an echo in the soul of the American people. It seems fairer. “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.” In the tradition of the Lincoln and Douglas debates, let both have their say. If one man’s truth knocks the other man’s so-called truth down, so be it; let Truth triumph.

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