The war on cable TV news channels

The battleground for the tribal fighting that’s consuming America is the TV and America’s businesses are increasingly joining the fighting by picking which TV channel they show their waiting customers: Fox, MSNBC, or CNN.

Choose your echo chamber, people!

At the Mayo Clinic, I noticed the last time I was there, it’s a FoxNews business, which tends to alienate people who aren’t its disciples.

Why would a business do that?

The Pioneer Press today says Lifetime Fitness has recognized the problem and is pulling the plug on it.

Cable TV news channels will no longer be shown in the gyms.

They’re not healthy.

“A couple of reasons — both the many member requests received over time across the country, and in keeping with our overall healthy way of life philosophy and commitment to provide family oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically charged content,” Natalie Bushaw, senior director of public relations and internal communications, told the paper when asked why the decision.

“Ultimately, it always is our goal to meet the vast majority of members’ expressed requests and we believe this change is consistent with the desires of the overall membership as well as our desire to uphold a positive, family oriented, healthy way of life environment,” she said.

CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, and CNBC are out at Lifetime.

Reruns and talk shows are in.


There’s always headphones and a good radio station.

  • Rob

    Almost makes me want to become a Lifetime Fitness member. : )
    Now if I could just get my favorite watering holes to turn off the effing idiot boxes…

  • John O.

    During a recent visit at Mayo, two of us were in this particular waiting area while our respective family member was otherwise occupied. The person at the desk gave us the remote and let us change the channel. We agreed on Food Network.

    • Jerry

      There are two shows that are the default in my household when we can’t think of anything to watch: House Hunters and Chopped. I think loops of them should be the default on all public TVs.

      • John O.

        For humor value, check out @HouseBudgets (aka House Hunters Plot)

        • Jerry

          “He’s a semi-pro mahjong player, she’s an artisanal seed artist. Their budget is $850,000”

  • Jim in RF

    My wife got pissed at our local bank running Fox and wrote them a letter. They said that it was temporary until they got some bank-related content, but switched it in the interim to something else. City is 70% blue in a 50-50 area.

  • Barton

    why don’t they just set up the screens for people to choose their terrain? A nice stroll through a city park, a jog a long a creek, a hill run, whatever. That would be cool.

  • Gary F

    LA Fitness on University Avenue switched back to MSNBC from CNN. They are interchangeable. At first it was fun to watch their heads spin every day with Trump-a-mania, now its sad. You can’t serve nothing burgers everyday and wake up that angry every day.

    They also have ESPN, which Sports Center has become a joke, fewer highlights, more obsessing over the major coastal market teams. If the Twins and Pirates played in World Series would ESPN hear it?

    That leaves us with the local 4,5,9,11. With constant weather and traffic, a couple of select abbreviated new stories with a reporter in a parking lot of a business that isn’t open yet ,which isn’t isn’t news, and some puff pieces, its hard to watch those too.

    Mornings at the gym have become challenging, I might have to start using the weight machines more, the recumbent bikes, treadmills and ellipticals all face the TV screens.

    • Rob

      I wouldn’t work out at any place that has sports or political news running on the TVs. My basement has a treadmill, spin bike, weights and a remote that I control to stream whatever content I want. And the audio through my surround sound system is great.

      • RBHolb

        The exercise room is our building has been without TV ever since management switched to a new cable provider and no one can figure out how to make it work on those TVs.

        I’m pretty happy about that. The only time I ever paid any attention to the TV would be when Overly Chatty Neighbor stood by me to give his running commentary on what was going on.

  • When I’ve found Fox News on at motels, I’ve often asked that it be changed to the Weather Channel so we could keep an eye on travel conditions. As for gyms, if you must join one ask for a tour first so you can get a sense of the place. Most will offer some kind of trial period. We live a half mile from the Lifetime Fitness in Woodbury. The parking lot there is always full, which means that people drive to the gym – summer and winter. Why not do what we did, which was buy a decent treadmill for use on bad weather days, and the rest of the time take to the park paths for biking, running, or walking? Take earbuds (For MPR of course) if you like, but listen for the birdsong, exchange greetings with those you meet, look for wildlife, feel the breeze across your face, and otherwise simply take in what’s around you. Be mindful. You will feel refreshed and be a whole lot happier than those sweaty TV watchers at the gym.

    • I have to admit, I cringe when I see people out for a walk on a day the birds are singing and the breeze is whistling through the trees and someone walks passed with earbuds in.

      The idea of mindfulness seems lost, which might explain why we’re all so stressed out with hair triggers.

      • I quit the earbuds about a year ago. I’ve been happier.

      • I have that same reaction when I see bicyclists doing the same thing (although that can be more of a safety thing, too).

        /I, for one, never wear earbuds.

  • Kassie

    I haven’t been a member of the Y for awhile, but they had individual TVs on all the treadmills. People could watch what they wanted, if they had headphones. That’s the best solution.

  • Mike Worcester

    I’d suggest the look at the BBC World News service (Charter Communications channel 142 on my lineup). I suppose though someone would find a reason to grumble about that also….like how they talk….

  • How about turning off the tvs?