Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is that news on the tube?

I've taken a few cheap shots at the media in past posts because the media is crucially important in that they are the primary conveyers of information and ideas that greatly shape public opinion, popular beliefs, and perspectives of how we see the world and our engagement with it all. And as active citizens, it's up to us to hold their feet to the fire, or at least maintaining awareness of what forces are at work in their content creation and delivery - in particular, the forces of television's major news networks - television, because of its wide appeal, ease of accessibility, and its simulataneous demand of both visual and auditory senses of the audience. That combo of external stimulus can be a persuasively powerful duo, filling your eyes, ears, and current conciousness with a Halloween bucket load bombardment of crack candy that's enough to chew challenge the cognition of our new generation's best multi-taskers. Try momentarily muting the talking heads or walking away from the loud screen LCD to go and sip a cool glass of filtered water.

Among other things, capitalism makes for good tasting candy - and who doesn't like a good piece of candy: lights, music, wise cracks, funny jokes, a good fight, roused emotions, political soap drama..... But in terms of a square media meal, the problem begins when they start mixing that candy with the meat and potatoes. When it comes to a serious steak, lay off the corn syrup! It gets to the point where it's easy to mistake the factual flavors of a 'tater debate because some ideological, profiteering taste-bending intender snuck jolly ranchers in my grandma's turkey. Stop feeding families a fake fear feast of how Uncle Sam's new plan is going to pull Pa's plug!

I'm talking about profit-driven entertainment disguised by a heavy dressing of supposedly legitimate news. This doesn't mean that PBS (public) is what you should always watch for a better objective news - I'm simply stating that the main motive for FOX, CNN, and other news corporations is to maximize profit - afterall, that is the goal of a corporation. Any actions on behalf of management inconsistent with that goal should, in theory, lead to the shareholders voting to replace them. Therefore, delivering socially constructive news will usually take a back seat if it and profit are ever in conflict. So goes the tenuous relationship between efforts towards honest news and the corporate media that operates under free market principles.

Rupert Murdoch is a smart man that knows how to make money - however he can. If you don't care about investing ethics, then purchasing partial ownership of his News Corp is probably a safe money maker. But you should know that this guy cares about America only in the sense that we continue to be reliable consumers of his products - other than that, he doesn't give a damn about us. Ask any of his fellow Australian's what they think about their buddy Rupert.

Non-Sequitur Comic - October 13, 2009


  1. It is good to hear that an old friend has a clear view of the clouds that surrounds our society. The news can buy you an election, influence a debate, and validate a false pretense. But it can not make decisions for human beings if we don't allow it to do so. That is what makes us supreme. Keep it strong brother and keep doing what you are doing. I am proud of your efforts and look forward to seeing you at the finish line.

    Brian Walker

  2. Walker! Good to hear from you. I hope to be touching Atlantic waters at Sunset Beach week this time...right down the road from you my friend....
    If Tiger hits another tree, there's going to be lots of room in the PGA for your boy Ty.