I’m convinced daily that “news” on a global scale—now also permeating social media, pushing out cat and friendly bear videos—is indeed the opiate of the masses.
The addiction is pernicious.
It’s a sort of subtile thing, I think. Being an “informed citizen,” so called, is seen as a a sort of civic virtue. That’s how all the people with their hearts in the right places get drawn in. They really aren’t out there in pursuit of ideas for various forms of muckraking, but to do the right thing as best they can, with as much information as they can.
But news media exists to turn a profit, just as all businesses do. But, instead of enticing you to trade in your perfectly good car or truck for one with 100 upgrades they can specify and detail, the only news they can offer is more of the same—repackaged over and over and over and over. Their product is fear, alarm, and caution. More fundamentally, their product is: STOP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND LISTEN TO US!!!
Also: don’t touch that dial; we’ll be right back after a word from
our sponsors [the people paying us to keep you engaged].
…I don’t really think there’s an existential crisis about it. I just think it ought to be more properly framed. I myself can enjoy an old Enquirer or People issue amongst the stack next to the throne, but we understand that in the context of entertainment (excepting the Men in Black). Same as tabloid television. I can have a laugh at that stuff. At times, it’s pretty good entertainment.
We’re in a mass conflation, really, where serious journalism, especially investigative journalism, is a thing of the past and “news” today is mostly Entertainment Tonight. Sure, at its height—in Watergate, for instance— investigative journalism was still highly politicized, but at least journalists were actually doing real work, bias and all. Given that vacuum, Project Veritas is putting them all in short pants and to their consternation, PV is right slanted.
Here’s James O’Keefe of Project Veritas as a guest on a show I had no idea existed until a couple of days ago. It’s Mike Huckabee doing late-night format on an incredible set, complete with a band and “Ed McMahon.” James is on about 9.50 in. I watched and was pretty delighted with the whole show in the context of entertainment. Up to you.
It feels to me as though real journalism is dead, and it’s probably a decades-long slide, beginning from the advent of talk radio, news radio, and then, cable news.
The question to ask is, how is there really “news” 24/7/365?
When in their ledes and jingles where they say 24 HOUR NEWS!!! is your reaction yippee, or bullshit?
If there’s not really NEWS!!! 24/7/365, then what’s the programming? Of what is it constituted? Does it have any sort of foundational constitution at all? What is its real meaning, if any? What is its purpose?
…A few days ago I took 2 minutes to watch a stick-figure video with a computer-generated voice. I laughed throughout, and probably because I knew exactly where it was going. I watched it a few times and decided I might like to write a short post, above, about it…since I think it delivers fundamental truth that’s useful in a lot of instances that go even beyond the current antagonism.
It’s really just another of the myriad manifestations of Bread and Circuses.
In a political context, the phrase means to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace, by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses).
Juvenal, who coined the phrase, used it to decry the “selfishness” of common people and their neglect of wider concerns. The phrase implies a population’s erosion or ignorance of civic duty as a priority.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses
No, nothing has essentially changed since back then, prior to the fall of the Roman Empire because everyone’s a fucking moron… I digress.
…My little issue here is that there are shit tons of assholes out there with huge followings who don’t share, they steal. Instead of sharing the work of others, they just download files and share themselves—with ambiguity as to whom the creator is. I don’t do that. So, I looked all over to see if I could find the creator of this video. I couldn’t and I used every means I know.
So, I grabbed it myself and uploaded to YouTube. Perhaps, someone with better skills than I can find the creator and give me details in comments so I can rightfully edit for credit.
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Nice work, Richard.