"Instead of a watchdog that is a check on the excesses of government and business, we have the endless barking of a 24-hour news cycle," The Hill reported Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said during a hearing on retransmission negotiations between broadcasters and cable providers.
"We have journalism that is always ravenous for the next rumor, but insufficiently hungry for the facts that can nourish our democracy. As citizens, we are paying a price," he said, hammering the press for "all but surrendering to the forces of entertainment."
Rockefeller also decried skyrocketing cable charges, saying consumers shouldn't have to pay through the nose for hundreds of channels they don't even watch.
"Why do we have to pay for so many when our households watch so few? The old adage of 500 channels and nothing on has never been so true as it is today," he added.