The polls (which I don’t believe) say the public is uninterested in the media’s conviction of Gary Condit for murder. But, as Andrew Kohut has pointed out, general public interest isn’t what matters. In cable news, what matters is a small sliver of the general public. The Times shows today how successful the lynch-mob has been. Paula “Psychic News Network” Zahn has ratings now that are triple what she was getting this time last year – even though they’re still only 630,000. Broadcasting psychics might be contemptible, but it works! Even better, much of the average 40 percent gain in viewers for the Chandra channels is in their ad-rich prime time. The bottom-line is that these channels are destroying someone’s reputation, privacy and career for ad dollars. Even when there is no news, even when they are reduced to psychoanalyzing Gary Condit’s facial expressions, character assassination – when the person involved cannot really respond without drowning in the sewer even further – is lucrative. How can I sum up my feelings about this kind of journalism? It makes me sick. Open message to Paula Zahn: please don’t invite me on your show again. I’m getting these psychic signals from somewhere that your journalistic standards are for sale.