Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Who the fuck reads the newspaper?!

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I read the goddamn thing, as a matter of fact. I’m one of the few people under the age of sixty-five that actually reads printed word! From time-to-time mind you.  And the radio; what the fuck is that shit?  While I participate in the ancient craft of holding two types of paper in the john, I cannot in the least rap my mind around why so many in this humble year of lord two thousand and shitty nine would tune in to a fucking device with fucking commercials and a playlist in which one has no control over. Holy shit, we’re all familiar with the MP3 player, plug the fucker in and you’re in control of what you listen to, without commercials, without some fucking forty-five year old who acts like he’s twenty and talks about sex and farting for four hours every morning. I realize it’s easy and it’s in the car, but get an auxiliary cable and you’re laughing – you can listen to all your personal illegally downloaded music (don’t get me started on the people that actually PAY for songs online: why anyone in the world would feel obligated to give their hard-earned dollar for one MP3 in which probably one percent of the royalties go to the millionaire artist that created the tune boggles my mind [don’t get your panties in a knot, I understand the nobility of buying music from small bands and local artists] But I digress….This is a blog/commentary/what-have-you about the modern media as a whole and why it is effed.

The big thing in media circles today is that it is “changing” – the Internet has revolutionized the way we view the world and younger generations are less likely to get their news from conventional sources.  By conventional I mean print (obviously), radio and of course television and we are led to believe that the Y2K generation is primarily reading about the world through the World Wide Web. This is a tad horseshit. TV still rules all when it comes to anything – whether it is entertainment or information. I don’t care when you were born you’re most likely to get your news from TV. And if you do read a lot of online blogs and reporting you also probably skip a generation and read the paper quite a bit as well.

Not unlike the music business and Hollywood, television feels itself to be threatened by the Internet.  And similar to movies and the radio, TV news’ attempt to compete with the Internet is rather pathetic. Whereas many network websites are decent, what they do on the tube sometimes makes no sense at all. Some stations have what they call an “Internet reporter.” What the hell does this person do? Do they just sit at home and look at porn? (Take a moment here to check out youporn, redtube and keezmovies; masturbate; clean up; nap; then get back to me) Seriously, I don’t need someone to tell me what’s on the Internet on TV. I know what is on the Internet – I have the Internet! It’s right fucking there – two feet away from the TV. That’s like having a grocery/refrigerator reporter:

            Wolf Blitzer: “Mr. So-and-so-watching-TV-right-now, you’re almost out of milk, and it looks like if you don’t go to the store you’re looking at grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner again. Ohh and the cat’s litter needs to be changed.”

This is obvious shit. Don’t tell me what I already know. No one checks the weather to see if it is sunny outside, they can look out the window. They check the weather to get the five-day mother-fucking forecast. People want MORE than what they can already get somewhere else. The only way television, or any type of media, can compete with online is to provide something deeper, more informative, better and different than what is available online.  Anyone can blog (for fuck sakes I’m doing it!) but giant media networks have the power and the money to get deeper into the story and provide more detail and grasp issues that are difficult to get at.

The major problem is that television has become a place of pure entertainment. There is very little actual information coming genuinely from the television. And people don’t want info either, they just want to tune in and tune out, don’t think, just laugh and dazzle the eye. Why do you think Jon Stewart is the most trusted man in news? It is because TV news has become a joke. What is the biggest story of the summer? No doubt, the King of Pop’s untimely death. And what respected media agency broke this provocative and monumental story? No other than the douche with the huge fucking straw in the travel thermos filled with god-knows-what – fucking TMZ.com 

One of the reasons why the guy who had a cameo in the revered comedy classic Half Baked as an enhancement-pot-smoker is the most trusted man in news is because he is better entertainment than most. So much news has become stand-up comedy disguised as commentary (hello, you’re fucking reading it). Bill O’Rielly and Keith Olbermen are not number one because they’re not as FUNNY as Jon Stewart (Quite frankly, I’m surprised Colbert wasn’t up there because that son’bitch is a barrel of fucking monkeys).

And of course The Daily Show/Colbert Report has become more acceptable as news because they actually get shit done. Not only do they point out the obvious – that regular news programs aren’t doing their job – but they also cover shit that CNN, MSNBC and the comedy antics of FOXNEWS do not pick up on. Sadly, The United States invaded Iraq because the mainstream media sat on their hands and today celebrity deaths have become the prominent issue across the board.

Why is this happening? My theory, that I have come to from my incredibly amateurish work in media, is pure laziness. Everyone recycles recycled used, heard-of, covered, stories. There is nothing new in the news. The President says something or someone famous dies; and they talk about it all fucking day. They get other people to come on the show and they talk about it, they give you reactions, perspectives, points-of-view and reviews of the story over and over and over until something current but equally unimportant comes up and they cover that till you’re hearing it in your sleep.  It’s not a story, the story is over, we’ve heard it. Everyone knows Michael Jackson is died it is not news to talk about him being dead.

The sad thing is that so many of us can’t turn away. It is true; the majority of people get their coverage of world issues from television. And too much of television is regurgitated bullshit. But I’m preaching to the choir – you already know this; you’re part of the minority that still reads; you had the focus to read over 1100 words online!  And I didn’t even use “LOL” once, although I did say “fuck” and “shit” a lot, maybe that is what TV needs more of.

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