Thursday, November 3, 2011

It takes a village to raise an idiot

And we're the village.

Yep, us. Wanna know why the public is so uninformed? Take a look at the garbage in many local newscasts.

I say this now because the media seems to be falling over itself over the marriage/quickie divorce of a certain woman who is famous for being famous. We won't mention her name because that's what she wants; people in the media to keep talking about her.

Yet stories about this person creep into local newscasts all the time. And if it is not her, it's the ditsy hotel heiress or the actress who keeps her train wreck in a constant state of derailment. They're front page news. Why? I have no idea. What these people do doesn't affect anyone.

And when we feed the public a steady diet of fake news, we're raising idiots. Oh, don't tell me this quickie divorce is entertainment news either; the woman is not an entertainer. She simply exists. She lives for two things: money and fame. And we're stupid enough to give it to her.

I've seen a few network talk shows the past few days talk about her, one host asking, "Why is America fascinated by her?" My answer: Because you keep talking about her. If the media stopped, we could move on to more important issues.

Stuff like this never would have been news years ago. But now a local newscast often offers viewers a steady diet of faux entertainment news, YouTube clips and convenience store crime videos.

Then, inevitably, Jay Leno goes out and asks people to identify the Vice President, showing how stupid the general public can be. And you wonder why people can't answer correctly?

It used to be every village had an idiot. Now the village is overrun with them. They can't be informed if we don't provide real information.



joey said...

Last week I helped break a high profile exclusive that launched two city investigations, prompted the resignation of a high-level city employee, and has members of the police department in hot water.

You'd think that it would be generating a lot of traffic on our station's website, since we broke and owned the story, but no.

Our biggest source of web traffic is a slideshow of our morning weather girl's new baby pics. Not even close. This mentality of "generating clicks" means we're serving up tripe on air and online on an exploratory mission to see how low lies the lowest common denominator...

-The Grape said...

Nice work, Joey. I guess the results of your story will have to be your reward, and sounds like it would be a great piece for your resume tape.

Generating clicks doesn't necessarily mean generating revenue...and the obsession with websites that started about ten years ago was one of the big nails in the coffin. We need to get back to "training" people to watch and make newscasts appointment television... even if on a DVR.