Here's a very interesting and thought-provoking piece from James West of Mother Jones which, while reinforcing what I already knew โ€” as a Canadian and a Friend of the CBC โ€” got me wondering: when exactly did American cable T.V.'s breaking news coverage and developing story reporting become so over-the-top and lacking in calmness, so long on conjecture and short on actual facts?

It wasn't always this way, and I don't recall ABC, CBS or NBC network news ever being like this, but it's become pretty clear that American cable news is doing American viewers a major disservice, not only in how they deliver breaking news but in how they determine what qualifies as news on any given day. MSNBC is not part of our cable package and I wouldn't touch FOX News with a 10-foot barge pole โ€” ditto for Canada's execrable Sun News Network โ€” but I do find CNN largely unwatchable and have for quite some time now.