Tuesday, April 10

If no news is good news, then lots of news...

Let me pose to you a question, metaphorically. Which came first: the lawsuit or the lawyer?

What I'm really wondering is whether news makes the national news media, or whether they make the news. What prompted me is that for the umpteenth time, irrelevant news stories are leading the big news sources on tv and the internet.

Lately, there's been the story of who of the presidential candidates has the most money. Has Barack sneezed today? Did Hillary look at someone wrong? Will the GOP find a candidate?

Who can forget the ongoing saga of Anna Nicole? I can't voluntarily. It's been on tv and the internet every other day for the last several months.

Today, some radio personality said something racist that he shouldn't have. Do I see "Kramergate" all over again?

All of these stories are irrelevant; the election is 20 months away, they're a bunch of rich idiots that did it to themselves and got what they deserved, and it's not completely unimportant, I'm sure we're all sorry feelings got hurt, respectively. Perhaps these are national-level stories, especially the presidential race, but running them over and over again is beating the dead horse to a pulp.

One reason could be that they get so much airtime because they're simply not Iraq or war-related.

I hope that I'm not the first person to notice (other people probably have already) that since there are at least two major tv news channels, not to mention the internet, they have to constantly fill up their live 24/7 schedule with news. Since they're in constant need of news, they put up stuff that often isn't quite deserving of the national spotlight, and then repeat it, repeatedly. Maybe the presidential race wouldn't have started so soon if the news didn't need something about which to fill their time.

The likely reason why, is that the news companies are simply that--companies. They sell ad time and space for revenue. Which attracts more consumers: mystery capers and stories, which tend to be "sexy" or cold hard facts about what's going on in the world?

That puts me in quite a conundrum as one of those laissez-faire types. (This kind of goes along with my thoughts about majority rule a few posts down) What a majority of consumers want is not necessarily the best thing.

But news is a different type of product than food, or computers, or cars. On the surface, I would say that normal goods are all presented from which to be selected, but with the news, it's a one-way street, we eat what they feed us for the most part. That's where it gets fuzzy, is that more than any other product, the news is a public service.

On a side note, out of news organizations, I find I like the BBC's news the best, which I find quite ironic as they're a government organization. I like them because they've got the best worldly perspective. I wonder how many Americans have even thought about how the Bahama Islands form a completely separate country; that Cuba isn't the only country next to Florida.

Up until a few years ago, I hadn't realized that, and instead figured by default that the news was honestly dedicated to delivering all the important stuff. My parents had always said that many sources had to be consulted to get the real story. People perhaps have to realize that the news is just an industry selling something. Ever notice how all the day's news always perfectly fits in the time slot or the newspaper.

Today in the cafeteria, I heard some girls talking at a neighboring table about how people know all sorts of trivia about the stars and very little about anything in the real world. I don't want to toot my own horn, but it's a little disheartening to think that people are more concerned about entertainment news than say what's going on with Russia, China, or in other parts of the world like that crazy Iran. People seem to care more about watching which presidential candidate has more money than for what the candidates stand, which is not how to run a country.

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