Sunday, March 29, 2015

Our Media Cannot Cover Long Stories

Being the regime's propaganda wing, it is easy to poke fun at them and skewer them for their leftist bent. Every move to the Overton Window is to the left, and the media is constantly pushing the edge of reasonable. The Narrative has become so obvious that even the normies are catching on, and the Internet provides some pushback. Awareness that the media is stoking a low level, 4 sided race war is catching on. This criticism could be fixed by replacing people within the media infrastructure. A problem unspoken is the actual infrastructure and mechanics of the media. Lost in the criticism of our media's political bias problem is that the media is horrible with long, slow stories.

This is a bit of a chicken and egg problem as American attention spans have decreased to eight seconds today. This is down from 13 seconds in 2000, and much longer in decades long gone. Is this a function of the media itself? Most likely. Watch different trailers for "The Wizard of Oz" and watch how many cuts there are in each trailer depending on the decade. The older the trailer, the fewer cuts. Americans have most likely been conditioned in this manner as attention spans dropping that quickly is not a function of genetics. Are the news outlets just creating product that meets an ADD customer base's demands? True, but they do not have to cater to our worst traits.

Forcing news media to be a profit center is a problem, too. Many news media entities have cut back their field force, print decided to compete with television over sizzle and not entrench as long form and deep analysis, and the Internet has made everyone drive for "first!!!". The consolidation of media is a product of the cheap money era as six firms control 90% of media properties. The incestuous nature of media is heightened when one consider Viacom was a spin-off of CBS. The government gladly protects us from monopoly, but no one ever fusses about oligopolies. They are all ideologically related entities, with even Murdoch's network of properties keep in line with the big ideas, so final goals from a propaganda standpoint are in sync. The problem for them becomes who rakes in the most cash.

The drive for clicks has turned most Internet media properties into clickbait sites. This will push sensationalism, tantalizing headlines for empty stories and sex appeal for clicks. It does not have to be this way because even within the clickbait culture one could see how you could make a writer a long story assignment employee. Colin Gorenstein, assistant editor of Internet and viral content at Salon, spends his life covering the Jon Stewart beat and other pop culture things that always frame the right as dumb and bad. There is nothing Internet or viral about the pieces of pop culture from NBC and Comedy Central he turns into political point scoring. Re-assign him on a long, slow story, and he can become the Fukushima guy or financial crisis wreckage guy? Not as much money in it? All clickbait now. Guys like Gorenstein probably spend extra on the hookers they abuse to make up for feeling horrible about their careers (wait, that's a lefty stereotype of evil, white businessmen), so why not give them something real to cover and a shot at a Pulitzer? Gorenstein is an example, because there is the Neil Degrasse Tyson clickbait curator, the chickbait curator, and on and on.

Our media is fantastic at propaganda and generating emotion, especially when molding voters. An editor at Newsweek in 2004 said the media would be worth possibly 15 points for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. They accomplish this by the bombarding of the audience from virtually all angles and outlets with coordinated messages. Their power is immense for how quickly they can gin up the masses into hating ISIS, then drop that idea entirely, get them to hate a domestic opponent meant to be a bad guy (Chris Christie for example), and jump from subject to subject. Now they are most likely wrong on these subjects and proven to either falsify "facts" or edit things to massage the public, but the media never suffers consequences (Zimmerman, UVA call your lawyers). This falls short when topics are more complex and involve far more items than "A helps/hurts B". The media will cover a terrible car crash perfectly, and that subject is suited for their over the top yellow print skills. How American infrastructure policy created messy commutes and why it is crumbling is kryptonite for them. This is where their talents fail us, and where we need a proper media the most.

Examples of these types of long, slow topics are Fukushima, the financial crisis and new great depression and Libya. The Fukushima nuclear reactor problem was all over the news when it first happened but discarded once the immediate danger of meltdown was averted. Dumb Germans decided to shut down their nukes in response to never let a global crisis go to waste, but where was the follow up? This accident had a longer reach for consequences and effects. Is everything settled? Did the Japanese lie to everyone immediately after the issue and are they lying about anything now? What dangers are there to the Japanese shore, the western edge of the Pacific or even the greater Pacific? I do not know. It was a calamity that got junked pretty quickly. The argument cannot be that it would have few viewers. I've seen nightly news ratings; they cannot go much lower. Resources could be devoted to this.

Dismissing this as a Japanese story has some merit. For an American centric story, what of the American financial crisis or Libya? George Packer's 2013 book The Unwinding is an interesting oral history of sorts about the changes in America, but really handles the financial crisis and great recession well. First, our media cannot call this a Depression because a Democrat is in charge, but that is not my point. Packer weaves tales of normal people facing decline and economic shock well. He also includes snippets about big money celebrities and figures who are living a world apart. People forget the '30s had the Depression and experienced a high water mark for luxury automobiles. The media covered the shock of 2008 well, politics has it covering up the stagnation, but we cannot get follow ups on why no Wall Streeters have gone to jail, why no structural reform has taken place, why the biggest banks are still in place and not broken up, and why we are doomed to repeat 2008 again. The media takes a moment for what is politically useful to the Narrative, but does not waste even 3 minutes at the end of a nightly newscast to day after day document the new normal. I like to focus on the long anti-dollar moves because a change in the dollar's status could create a huge drop in living standards quickly. This is virtually off the map in the mainstream media.

Libya might even be worse because the moronic Fox News has not figured out they could use Libya as a whole to submarine Hillary Clinton. Forget Benghazi you idiots for one second, and just look around at Libya today. That nation disintegrated and is in anarchy now. Politics prevents the mainstream media from pointing out Libya's descent into chaos because it hurts their team, but where is the weekly update on what is going on there? A constant stream of reports on Libya would have put 90% of Americans against any Syrian shenanigans. Benghazi emails are small potatoes compared to the simple question, "Why did we go there in the first place?" From that question begins debates of use of force, how the US State department manipulated everyone, Gadaffy Libya vs. post-Gadaffy Libya, limits to intervention, Empire and everything else. Could people see American foreign policy for what it is and quicker with those debates? Yes. Might change enlistment rates from those flyover states.

The media is sovereign, and if not, the most powerful piece of the puzzle. Regardless, they are the regime's outlet so they must run PR for them. They protect who they want to because they have the ultimate weapon and Constitutional protection. These long, slow stories are the bigger stories that spotlighting, debating and discussing would lead to a better analysis of our overall system and possible changes. We do not get this. We avoid a politician erasing four years of emails after a Congressional subpoena because in the same week some Midwestern governor signed a bill that can be framed as so horrible and mean to gays. The media has their motivation... Get mad at that. Don't get mad at our next puppet. We need you to support her. She does what we want, and pushes our needs, and pay no attention to the smoldering ruins of what we wanted in North Africa. Libya, why would we bring that up? "We came, we saw, he died." End of story... Move along...


gluten-free gluten said...

watch news stories get edited after publication: newsdiffs "tracking online news over time."

icr said...

I think Fox News is part of the State Dept/Mockingbird conspiracy or something similar. Being part of the ongoing conspiracy is more important to them than who gets elected POTUS in 2016.

armenia4ever said...

The insane amount of jump cuts we have make it seem like we are watching an endless stream of movies.

When it comes to reading, translate that into "walls of text" that consist of more then five paragraphs and it's too much reading.

There has to be a break and large single sentence in bold font to keep and/or regain people's attention

I sense a disturbance in the Force.