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Media Distortion? Since When?

An interesting note from the International Herald Tribune, about the media coverage of the riots in France. By the tone and content of the news reports, one could assume that another Reign of Terror was just around the corner.

This is just another demonstration of something that continually irks me. Not that the media distorts reports to increase the level of violence and sensationalism, that's a given. It's that a lot of people (I hesitate to implicate the majority, but I'm probably being naive) accept this fiction uncritically. They have no idea, and no concern, that the goal of the news gathering organizations is not to share information with us out of concern for our welfare and a desire to educate us. No, they exist to make money. And how do they do that?

They do what the entertainment programming used to do: titillate, excite and play to our baser impulses, whether it's a desire to see scenes of violence and carnage, excite us with stories about the newest toy we'll all want in a few months,or attempt to mollify us, to make us feel good for a few seconds as we see some sweet story about a dolphin who performed open-heart surgery on a 3-year-old orphan while she was trapped under a car after she fell down a well. As George Carlin once said:" I don't care if the pandas at the zoo are fucking, do you?"

It's all about grabbing attention, while they grab for our wallets. Information has been commodified, and therefore cheapened. The oral storytelling tradition has devolved into a drooling shockfest. And it starts early - is it a coincidence that the segments on Sesame Street (or its poorly-conceived cousin, Sesame Park) are short, and look very similar to commercials? And is it also a coincidence that news stories scratch the surface of the real seriousness of events so superficially that even the 'News' seems like commercials for depravity and victimhood?

All I ask is that people stop, and consider whether there might be another side to a story. Like the truth, for instance.

I'm sure I'll be ranting more on this topic soon.

PLUS, is a serial rapist/murderer/taxidermist hiding in your sock drawer? We'll find out later - on BLEVKOG.
Stay Tuned.

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