Like to catch up on the news while working out at the gym? If so, Life Time Fitness is not the gym for you. Fox News, CNN, and other 24-hour news stations are henceforth banned at the company’s hundred and some gyms. In a released statement, Life Time Fitness argued:
“The decision to remove the national cable network news stations resulted from significant member feedback received over time and our commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically charged content.”
Apparently, news channels don’t mesh with the gym’s “healthy way of life philosophy.” The removed channels include CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC, and MCNBC. Gym visitors will still be able to get local news channels and some non-political news channels, such as ESPN.
Many gyms have been taking a “safe space” approach in an effort to coax people to the gym. Planet Fitness, for example, bans grunting as it can intimidate and disturb people. While such policies might irk some gym goers, there are plenty of other gyms to attend. Still, banning news channels seems to be an extreme step.
News Networks Growing More Partisan
Over the past several years the mainstream media, which once prided itself upon objectivity, has grown more partisan. News networks have been pushing more partisan content in an effort to draw in more viewers. This has resulted in a self-feeding cycle. As the audience grows more partisan, the content then becomes more partisan in an effort appease viewers.
Of course, this draws in more partisan viewers, and the cycle repeats itself. Now, certain media networks have an appeal to certain audiences. Republicans are four times more likely to watch Fox News than Democrats, for example. Meanwhile, Democrats are twice as likely to watch MSNBC. Many Democrats also favor CNN.
Partisanship has paid off for news channels. Fox News was able to grow its audience tremendously over the past few decades by pushing more conservative content. But it’s not just Fox News that’s been growing.
In the second quarter of 2017, amid political strife in Washington, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News all reported double-digit viewership growth. In the second quarter, Fox News was able to pull in 1.47 million viewers. MSNBC, which has a reputation for being even more left-wing than CNN, had the second highest viewership, at 886,000. CNN trailed with 788,000.
Some believe that the increasingly partisan nature of the media is making it difficult for people to even hold conversations. Many people have formed such immensely strong opinions that it can be difficult to have dialogue. Don’t be surprised if more organizations go the same route as Life Time Fitness and simply ban politically charged channels altogether.