Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Outrageous Vs Outrage

I don't watch the news. Around here, the network news comes on the same time as syndicated reruns of That 70's Show, which is much more honest in it's presentation than the news.
There was a time when the network news was populated by journalists, who brought you actual news about the days events. A bit dry, and colorless, it nonetheless was the prestige arm of all the broadcast networks. It was their way of compensating for broadcasting inane shit like Gilligan's Island into people's living rooms.
Of course, it didn't generate as much revenue because it wasn't cheap, it wasn't tawdry, it wasn't trash. So few people watched it.
The eighties was birth of tabloid television. Suddenly, this type of "news" became a ratings force because slack jawed television watchers could cluck their tongues at the latest celebrity scandal and say "See, even with all that money and fame......" Agents, managers and publicists took notice and realized the truth of the old maxim "There's no such thing as bad publicity". For every negative action there is a positive reaction, and while some people may be offended by pantyless pop stars, others would think it epitomized a kind of rebellion, against what and why were pointless, because it didn't matter.
This snowballed into more ratings as more viewers, despairing over their television addled lives, clung to these reports as a way to build their ow self-esteem. "Well, I may not have much money, but I wouldn't do that" being their favorite saying.
Now it has spread to the network news programs, which now are locked in a battle for carbonated beverage advertising revenue, so boring old stories that are really important get sidelined for more trivial stories for gossip fodder around the watercooler.
All three major networks ran stories about the topless Hannah Montana photos, but none of them ran a story about Pentagon military analysts used by the networks and their ties to defense contractors.
In five years, poor Mylie Cyrus will be a washed up has been, still hounded by the papparazzi hoping to document her latest round of bad behavior, while some other fifteen year old pop star will have grabbed the attention of television watchers who only want to feel better about their own dismal existence, but it will be too late for America. Because a slew of slack jawed celebrity addled mouth breathers feel that keeping tabs on the wrongs our government perpetrates just isn't exciting enough to pay attention to.

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Imagine relying on Wolf Blitzer or tim Russert for knowing what is happening in the world. That would be deprivation.

Jennyjinx said...

All I can say is "A-men". Spot on.