Well, friends — it’s happened to you now, perhaps not for the first time: you found your way to this here little bit of internet real estate and you want the show. You went to all the trouble to click on the link in your email or whatever. Some of you even typed the damn URL into the address bar. Bravo.
So you went to all that work and what do you find here? Another post on the media mess. That’s right.
Why, god — why? you ask yourself. Why won’t he post something fun or at least something I can follow, like Lindsey Lohan’s hair, her crack addiction or the Warriors or something that, like, all my friends are talking about?
I worry about you sometimes, reader.
In what was sure to be the momentous turn around for the image of the mainstream media, all hell broke loose and the potential crumbled and fell to shit.
An accident on interstate 880 at the MacArthur Maze of the Bay Area; it was the chance for the local channels to show their merit, to report what happened and to give us information alongside a captivating story. You know — journalism. And to do it on the scene. Get back to it. Do it now.
This thing was a wet dream for journalists with nothing else to do – it had it all:
- an exploded gasoline tanker that was melting concrete with its combustible contents even as the story played out
- a collapsed freeway at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area
- traffic problems as far as the eye can see and the clock can count
- politicians on the scene, making no sense
And all on a Sunday night. Think of it, reader. Think about Monday morning. Think of the potential to do the right thing.
Naturally they fucked it up and made a mess of things. Media crews were either dispatched to the scene or else just attracted to it like children to an ice cream truck. And what were they there to do? Were they there to cover the story? Were they there to describe the impact to the community and the options to the leaders and to investigate the facts with the depth and passion that their junior college journalism professors had inspired in them? Were they going to ask the tough questions and get the straight answers out of the ones with a stake in the ordeal no matter what lines they had to cross?
Nah, they were kissing the ass of whatever was the easiest political target to put on the screen at that moment. Whatever attracted the most viewers and called and grasped the most attention for more than 6 seconds would get the spotlight.
Why? Because short attention spans in your audience means that advertisers want you to have people’s attention for slightly less than a minute so that whatever is left can be their 30 second blurb, for which they pay handsomely. It’s all about the dollars involved. You know it is. Rupert Murdoch gets all giddy when something like this happens.
Besides, you’re not supposed to as why to a thing like this. It’s not a questions of reasons, just incentives.
So the local news networks recorded a segment on the brief facts they barely knew at the time – a rig crashed, exploded, melted a freeway – yeah, I see that much from the hellish fire behind you. Then they married it to the most dramatic footage they got of the flames and the onlookers, and hiccuped it back to viewers every five minutes. The spastic reporting added nothing on every new replay except to say that they still didn’t know anything at all, which also, was obvious.
What they did do is give the Governator a forum to declare a moment for himself when he offered taxpayer moneys to pay for a free day of BART for everyone, even if it was just for the day. That his proposal made no sense and added nothing to anyone’s benefits didn’t seem to be on the edge of anyone’s tongue, including the news team.
The amazing thing? Not one media outlet offered a report of what it would cost the tax payers and what the benefits would be. Not one.
Instead, they reported an interview with the taxi driver that took the non-injured truck driver to the hospital.
You fucking twats.
And I’m not just talking about the media, because they’re beyond helping. Remember that they report this silliness because of – not in spite of – you people. It’s your lack of attention to detail that makes this all real. It’s your addiction to gossip that takes the focus away from what’s important, and it’s your pathetic lack of continuing education that keeps the circle of doom alive and well.
The solution should be obvious but mother nature is in over her head and we’re going to have to rely on our own stupidity and eradicate ourselves. We’re well beyond being flooded out because many of us already have Hobie Cats. I still need to get one.
In other news, a Washington prostitution ring! The guy is 65 and married. He’s a politician, for christsake, saying “they sent women over to my hotel room for massages but there was no sex.” That’s practically the same thing as saying, “I paid for whores,” isn’t it?
Again: who is asking the questions?