Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Media Ogres

I would never advocate suppressing the rights of the press. No, they have rights just like I do. But I would advocate that we consumers of the news stop paying attention to them. I firmly believe the mass media industry on this planet and in particular this country create more problems following a news worthy event than they help by "keeping us informed". And I think they do it on purpose. News has become all about money. By feeding the emotional fires of an event after the fact, they stir the potnot with facts, but with what ifs, what mights, and keep us uneasy with 24/7 assaults by paid talking heads who are hired to put forth a specific view point. There is no objectivity anymore now that greed has completely poisoned the industry.

The media companies have become so huge and entwined with industries outside reporting the news, anything they report should be viewed with suspicion. Even the staid and often boring BBC seems to have an agenda that is not so veiled anymore. One "news" outlet does not even try to live up to reporting factually while at the same time claiming they are being "fair and balanced".

By the time a story makes it the press, the tube, or the air waves, it has been manipulated, collated, twisted, and generally compacted to tell a story based on facts, but not really factual. This happens so much, I have given up believing anything I see on TV.

I used to try to give many news sources their chance to fill in me on issues, events, the madness inside the Beltway in DC. The problem is not one of them seems to want to just report. They load up the facts in such a way as to not allow the consumer to form an opinion. By the end of the piece, that opinion is formed to fit neatly into a specific political, religious, or economic mindset. We are then supposed to agree or disagree. Successful hate and discontent follows.

While different news outfits play to specific political or religious views, I do not think it is being done out of some altruistic higher calling like reporting objectively. Nor do I think they even really care one way or the other about an issue. News has become nothing but a vehicle by which to carry more cash into their bank accounts. By over sensationalizing, by over stating facts not even in evidence and drawing the worst case conclusions as inevitable outcomes, they keep us glued to their show, their paper, their radio station. By keeping us stirred up, they keep us coming back. Their sponsors are then happier, and the Media Ogres get more green for their coffers.

Rachel Maddow, the other night, made an interesting point regarding this slanted news thing. Her comment was based on the political minded and their tendency to only watch channels that put forth twists that fell in with their mindset. Something about folks living in a bubble of slanted truth that when forced to actually debate an opposing view, these people were lost because they had no experience with opposing views. To effectively debate she went on, one should at least know the views of their opponent so they can raise an effective counterpoint.

Kudos to her for making this observation. But she does the same thing. She plays to an audience who is guilty as much as the other side of swallowing her twist without any question. In the scheme of things however, these hired guns who represent the public face of the Media Industry are only there to feed the coffers of the monopolized Mass Media network that circles the planet. It does not matter whether it's Right, Left, or Praise the Lord and pass the Ammunition, all the Media bosses care about is picking pockets.

Instead of attempting to bring us together as stewards who wield awesome power should, the media instead strives to keep us divided and on edge. They play to our fears, our doubts, and our insecurities. They could care less about helping. They are only interested in numbers, ratings, percentages or audience pull, and how much money they can suck out of the sponsors pockets. They have become whores of the highest order who will do anything with the truth to stay on top.

WR Hearst must be somewhere in Hell laughing his ass off...............

To see just how deep their tentacles reach, go to thhis link.


The Blog Fodder said...

You called it but I think it is a bit more nefarious than just short term profits.
Suggested reading "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky

MRMacrum said...

Blog Fodder - Yes, at the top level where the Rupert Murdochs sit, I would imagine you are right. Can anyone disagree that WR Hearst had more than money in mind when he single handedly managed to manipulate America's view on almost anything? The current mania over the "Drug Wars" is a perfect example. A direct result of his meddling.

But at the top, money is the marker by which these flounders keep score on how much influence they really have.

muddleglum said...

You raise valid points.

In college I spent much time reading the newspapers of the past (I'm a fast reader) so I think I can say that it hasn't gotten much worse, though there were some that still had their ideals back in the first half of last century.

I would only agree “that greed has completely poisoned the industry” if you mean the mass media. There are still some small holdouts that follow their own drumbeat, and are open about their agenda so that one may know which way to lean when reading their articles.

Your comment by Rachel Maddow can also be applied to individuals. I've more than once helped out an 'opponent' who didn't understand his position well. “Why don't you believe in my position, then?” they would ask. How does one answer that?

I'll be posting on my blog shortly an article that touches on this.

Demeur said...

Rupert Murdoch would sell photos of his dead grandmother if he thought he could make a profit. I think the media died a bit after Nixon resigned and somebody wanted to get revenge. It's now reduced to inflamatory sound bites. Nobody wants to read and research anymore.
Mudd the wealthy at least back then had some empathy and were willing to pay to help get us out of the Depression.

Randal Graves said...

Money, it's a gas.