Sunday, September 9, 2007

Amazingly Bad News

It's never any shock to me that astonishing bad grammar, flawed reporting of everything from inaccurate data to raw speculation, and the presentation of political and moral views as fact continue to be the very essence of Big Media News.

In this article,, an obscure professor from a notably liberal University presents an improbably bad, poorly worded, and questionably illegitimate bastard child of Faux News style. The data isn't given, one of those "I'll release it tomorrow" quotes are thrown out instead. Why not write the story tomorrow when you can check the data? The reason is that the data isn't ever going to be printed unless it reflects the bias of the reporter.

On a daily basis, I'm seeing news reporting quoting data that hasn't been released. In all cases, without exception, I've never seen the data the following day in any print media or BMN, anywhere.

This is raw histrionics. This is politics, scaremongering, and FUD. That ABC practices FUD is about as surprising as discovering that the Christian-leaning Disney corporation is one of the worst employers to work for. I have family and friends who do or have worked for various Disney companies and none of them have anything positive to say about their employers. In fact, most overtly religious companies that I've dealt with or conducted business with are decidedly unpleasant, reactionary, thoughtless, and greedy. They place their morality on a higher priority than accuracy or competitiveness or any other business acumen.

It should not be a surprise that a company which chooses to elevate individual morality to a higher plane that professionalism, that the quality of that business is less than desirable. Contracts are not honored, completed, filled, etc., and the company is likely to simply offer an apology and expect full payment.

Thus, it should also not be a surprise that BMN never print any critical news or anything which shines a less than glamorous light upon their monopolistic oligopoly of media corporations and the respective inter-corporate masters.

Of all [read: 100%] news media, it's well documented that only FOUR companies control ~96% of them. The uncontrolled news media?: Bloggers. Tiny local papers which are privately owned or do not issue stocks. Really REALLY small print runs like High School papers.

So, the only real unbiased news out in the world today is that FOUR PERCENT, which you'll have a hard time finding. Sites like Reddit, digg, and fark, among others, promote BMN over blogs or smaller papers almost exclusively, even though they are ostensibly fed news items by the general public. The reason for this is assumed to be a desire for popularity or eyeballs by bloggers who post links to traditional media just to get people to read their page, rather than writing original news articles. Even most original blog articles are just short stubs premiering a traditional BMN link.

Nobody seems to link to the local college paper, or some jane-jill [billy-bob] independent print media, or even a really good blog. The best blogs are not the most popular ones. Wil Wheaton, although very articulate, usually posts minor and personal minutiae on his blog, and is largely concerned with self-promotion. It's not a great blog for news, but passable. Yet, his blog is hugely popular, much more so than say, which actually publishes unique news articles, fresh news, and lengthy editorials.

Yes, I'm somewhat promoting by quoting it, but I get no reward for that. It's necessary to mention an example. I'm sure there are others. The point is that popularity is actually low quality. Pop = Crud on a 1 to 1 ONTO basis, mathematically speaking.

Just because lots of people read it doesn't mean it's good. The same rules which apply to Television apply to News. South Park remains very popular, but it's scatological humor, and intensely childish self-deprecation. It's not great comedy nor does it present edgy or interesting ideas like say, The Daily Show with John Stewart.

With news the problem is amplified by the fact that most of the highest priority news is bad news. People need to be alerted to human rights abuse, weather, disasters, elections, and other such disturbing information. Little of it is really very happy or uplifting. Only Friday, after weeks of negative press, is there a hopeful article about the dismissal of a large portion of the Patriot Act. People need to learn to accept and deal with life.

Life isn't all pretty roses and shopping at the mall for the latest fashions and electronics. Life is the good the bad and the ugly, the eventful, and the trivial. People get shot. Elections get rigged. People can't live their lives with their damn heads in the sand and ignore reality, or we wind up with a President like Bush.

"Reality is known to have a strong liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert.


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