Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fleeting thought: The Fraud of the Consumer-Driven Show-mance

[I've modified this a bit from the last draft. -rd]

Today, news outlets
make into the poem we like
When, and since, news has turned commodity,
you choose what you think works best.

You choose the "brand"...CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc,
according to what you believe
Therefore, no real decision is made. At least
in regards to news, free will or choice.
Your keeping free and choosing
really doesn't have much to do with it.
This is why plenty of intelligent people buy into the Fox news
"fair and balanced" paradigm: "fair and balanced" to their likes
and dislikes. Right. What politics comes down to is really just
a question of likes and dislikes. Viewpoint and belief are similar
--how well they can be assimilated into the stew of other "convictions" you
have; and in the mix gets caught up a demand for hard news facts really doesn't dictate
what news is on or not. If all of America were to suddenly change craving
intelligent news, there would be a lag, since the market would need time to adapt.
And because of this lag, there would be no change necessary. Taste in news
outlets is a fleeting thing, which would allow such media outlets to continue the
bombardment of the base, a continual lowering of the bar under which our taste fits
That the taste of the public wouldn't matter.

In other words, business has figured out a way to account for changes in public
opinion/demand/taste without having to change products. Some of this concerns
presenting viewers with novelties, and novelty items --tickers, split screen viewing, round headlights for square, automatic shutoff
etc-- but mostly it is achieved by ignoring what is important
A focus is kept on whatever agenda your station might have.

We aren't dumb. But we're forced to look.

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