Matt Steinglass thinks that it is "physically impossible to learn anything substantive by watching cable TV news":
Television is fundamentally a terrible medium for communicating events and public affairs. The demand of keeping a constant narrative flow going in real-time is poorly matched to the way things actually unfold in the world. Back when broadcast TV was the only way to watch documentary video, people put up with the bad narrative-structure fit, because being able to watch people shooting at each other or tsunamis washing away villages is amazing. But now that you can put that video on the internet and make it accessible on demand, either on its own or as part of a well-constructed, coherent story, it's hard to see why anyone should have to put up with anchorpeople, or with "experts" shouting at each other from tiny split-screen boxes.
All I see of it now is on the web, The Daily Show or Colbert. I feel far more informed because of that choice. But I hold out hope that at some point, someone will bring honest journalism and analysis and debate back to that medium.