Bullshit Journalism

Bullshit Journalism

You might not know this, but at one point news was supposed to be objective.

Well, as objective as possible – true objectivity is impossible, as we’re all the sum of our perspectives and experiences. The news has always been slanted for or towards its audience, not really telling people anything they don’t want to hear. We don’t want to know that whatever bad guys we’re fighting are like us, and we don’t want to know that our comforts come at a cost. Fair enough.

So, really, objectivity is a lie. Alright, that’s fair. There’s never been real objectivity in anything, as much as we might like to think otherwise. But there was integrity, the idea that what was being said was being said because it was the best way to look at something. The opinions being given were based on as many facts as possible, and the quality of an event or medium or whatever was being judged by that quality.

Only, well, not so much there, either. See, the people producing those events or mediums or whatever have invested a lot of money into that event or medium or whatever, and they’d like a return on their investment. And if journalists tell people that whatever it is they’ve invested their money in isn’t any good, well, how are they supposed to get a return on their investment?

And, hey, let’s face it – most of the events and mediums and whatevers aren’t very good, are they? They’re copies, xeroxes that lose whatever it was that made them so cool in the first place as they’re watered down for the lowest common denominator. They lose meaning, form, function, soul. Everyone knows these events and mediums or whatevers are slipping, the quality from reduced to nothing more than a watered down dreck shat out to you out of some dull obligation.

There’s research done, models to form opinions. Things look good on paper and when they fail in real life, well, that’s real life’s fault, not the fault of a research team that spent years tracking the trends of what was awesome and missing the point. But, once word gets out on real life’s opinion of how much the event or the medium or the whatever sucks, well, no one wins. The event or medium or whatever fails.

And the people pouring their money into this? They can’t allow that.

So, they bought the media. It’s not all that insidious, or even hard. It’s not straight out cash payouts, just perks. Hook journalists on the idea that if you review an event or medium or whatever favorably that there’ll be a reward for it. Soon, the threat of withholding that perk for an honest review is enough to make journalists ready to lie.

Living Myth Magazine
Originally Published: JANUARY 2, 2013

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