One of Americas and the worlds biggest problems in the standard, style and empty, insubstantial and silly discourse concerning the serious issues plaguing the United States and the entire world.
It is no coincidence that the problems facing the country are taking our society by surprise in part because television, all of television channels have for years hidden them behind the glitz and glamour of celebrity lifestyle programs.
Does anyone really remember any experts or commentators analyzing the details about the economy or the debt? Other than the cursory discourse? On the other hand, most of us have a vivid memories of news anchorman speaking live from their studios with singers, colorful politicians and movie stars.
Concern about TV ratings have always taken a toll on the quality of television discourse in this country. The local channels have been competing against each other to see who can put on the cheapest show. Television discussion is hostage to cheap stereotypes and convenient clichés. Emotion just always take priority over reason. The print media is no different. Just read the headlines: Lohan in rehab again; Palin on road trip.
All that can be explained as, the day after the show, most of us will chat about the outrages comment made by some cult TV personality and not the sober proposals by the likes Robert Reich or other economists. They have made us stupid. Dumb downed us to the point that all we want are stupid reality shows.
Reality shows? The media, television and print, created the greatest reality show. The trial of Casey Anthony. It is the trial that became impossible to avoid. Everywhere you looked they reminded you of a young life lost and another that for months was dangling in the balance.
Magazines paid five-figure sums to witnesses to make them cover stars, and even ex-wives of witnesses have been thrown in to the spotlight.
News broadcasters gained access to the Anthony home and to home videos, while others took viewers to the prison holding Miss Anthony to inform them she had bought a comb and an eyebrow pencil while behind bars. It starts out as a local story then the networks send satellite trucks and start spending money to build up equity of the story and it becomes a TV show – the more details people get, the more they want. Viewers get sucked in. A real like soap opera.
Casey Anthony became a hate figure, especially on the internet, since details came out in view of her behaviour and lifestyle during a one month period bbetween the time Caylee was seen alive and the time she was reported missing by her grandmother. Some stations opened everything to broadcast live non-stop coverage of the trial with endless analysis of every twist and turn. A journalist was interview people in the line waiting to get into court. One woman said ‘I can’t wait to see it. This is the ultimate reality show.’ She didn’t see that this is a real case with real people.
It became a spectacle, just something to watch just like reality television.
The point being, it was all about ratings. Not one station, magazine or newspaper bothered to find out the facts. No one did their homework. No one bothered to investigate, was their real evidence, was there a motive or whatever. They just couldn’t be bothered with truth or the pursuit of facts. Real journalism is dead.
And while we, I exclude myself since I didn’t watch, were transfixed on trash, unimportant “news”, the real issues, the economy, assault on women’s rights, immigration, and poverty were relegated to nonsense.
Morality and ethics are absent in the media. Ask Rupert Murdoch. We have the Patriot Act that spies on us, but the Brits have Rupert Murdoch. News International hacked and spied, paid policeman to get cheap stories. They hacked mobile phones messages and gained unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemized phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MP’s, actors and sports stars were targets of the Murdoch private investigators. Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers has paid out millions of dollars to settle legal cases that have threatened to reveal evidence of his “journalist’s” repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories. Not only do they make stories up, they now, at least for the past 4 years, have and apparently continue to commit criminal acts to get a “story.”
It seems that the hacking of Fox News’s twitter account was poetic justice.