Larry King Leaves Cable

Larry King made it cool to tune into Cable at night. Yesterday, he announced he was leaving his show.

Cable Television was a cool invention of the late seventies and early eighties - extending the delivery of media to the home. And perhaps the public internet is better served to be transferring other data than film. But the truth of it is, that film itself is evolving. Our choices are broadening.

Larry wasn't really into the News Media Entertainment business, as I see it. He would focus his shows on perspective - and not attempt to put facts up there between two opposing viewpoints and try to treat them as if they are not facts. He wanted to run his show in a way that allowed viewers to understand a bit more of the single subject he chose for that evening. News Media Entertainment, or, the lacing entertainment into facts and presenting it as fact - is really more about controversy and does not strongly regard the subject itself. The idea is that , like a weaker form of reality TV - it attempts to hold the viewers attention by turning whatever fact is presented, or under investigation - into spectacle. Larry's show was in a small way, gotcha! journalism - he built his show around the idea that somewhere, there is a hidden fact or truth that can be shared - one that we don't already know.

But now such journalism can be left safely to the net. We've discovered within ourselves a self correcting feature - by allowing information to flow more freely, we no longer need a cable into our television to feed from. We are a generation of participants, as much as we are a generation of viewers. The latest, and frankly - lame attempts at adding a corporation as my friend on facebook are doomed to fail. But we would dig into the details of any new article we are interested in, and we may even blog about it. Twitter - to the extent that it does not entertain - is just an annoyance along these lines.

Larry's departure signals the end of Cable TV in America. It may not be evident now, but one day soon Cable TV will be a thing of the past. It will be superceded by network appliances, both tethered and untethered - that will allow us to stream facts, details, and images of the subjects we are interested in. Like Twitter, Cable TV is a one-day anachronism. Cable TV will be seen as best having brought landline data networking past the last mile -Twitter, as... well... whatever fate befalls a network whose users "tweet" each other.

Larry's singular 25 year run speaks more about our desire to know the truth, and the hidden fact behind something - than it does anything else. It's a good thing he lasted this long. Thanks Larry!