We Got Jaco: Charles Jaco on Useful Idiots

Former CNN reporter Charles Jaco on being part of the transition to the 24-hour news cycle

  
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During the first Gulf War, there was a transformation to an era of constant new news. The face of this change was CNN reporter and Useful Idiots Hero Charles Jaco.

Viewers went from checking the news once or twice a day to constantly staying plugged in, anchors got famous, and the whole thing became a spectacle. Jaco’s response?

“What the devil is going on?”

Jaco, who’s the star of the weekly UI segment "Jaco of the Week,” discussed the negative impacts of unending news.

“We should've put up slides that said, ‘Look, this is being brought live. The first draft of history is always wrong. Take this with a grain of salt and we'll try to sort this out.’” With the need to always have fresh news, time for fact-checking went out the window. And since the early 90s, trust in media has plummeted. Jaco says that’s why.

We also discuss the shift from focusing on in-the-field reporters to idolizing talking heads in the studio:

“One of the things that really annoys me now is that you've got these platforms that can give you 24-hour news, but on the three major channels, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, it's degenerated into just talking heads rather than using the expertise of the reporters in the field.

It's irritating as hell to those of us who did it for so long.”

It’s a fun interview with our charming and funny UI hero. And check back on Monday for the extended interview where Charles discusses teabaggers, conspiracy theories, and the impending US civil war (sense a trend?)

Plus, we find out just how much Dems and Republicans suck as Biden lets Haitian migrants get whipped and McConnell plans to let the government default. Ugh.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.