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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Not news

Today's title is one of those lucky examples of when one phrase can mean two things and yet each be accurate. In this case it is certainly not news to say that what passes for journalism today is not news.

During the reign of King Donald I, I spoke out often enough to lead many in the American "Red Guard" to assume I was a flag-waving member of the "Blue Guard". I hope today's post clears that up. Prior to Trump one of my main critical targets was the news media. However, when a lover of freedom and democracy is faced with a ruler (sorry I refuse to call him a 'president' because that would imply some sort of adherence to Constitutional order) whose disdain of the media is equal to his own......but for very different reasons, it is hard not to stick up for the bastards. Suggesting that journalists be jailed for writing things a ruler doesn't like because they are not flattering, is ..........well..........FUCKING SCARY! So, I had to put down my acid-filled pen and rather than deride these lazy bastards, stick up for them. Thank goodness, those days are at least on hold!

MY issue with the media is their utter lack of unbiased, fact-based exposition of subjects in favor instead of telling me what I'm supposed to think. The way news is supposed to work is that a journalist gets wind of an important current event, and then researches the topic, and then uses their writing skill to succinctly inform us of what is going on in a way that isn't biased with their own opinion of the matter. Opinions are reserved for "editorials"......which are valid expressions but clearly labelled as opinions. It should not matter whether I turn to a Fox story or a CNN one. The two stories SHOULD seem nearly identical if the two journalists were truly journalists and not partisan propagandists. 

Recently I have seen articles about topics I am genuinely interested in, but reading them did as much to inform me as a documentary on the Discovery Channel. One issue in particular that I saw more than one similar article on is the recent concern over passing "restrictive voting measures", particularly in Texas.  The headline warned me that such a dastardly thing was imminent, and yet, upon reading each article from beginning to end, at no point ANYWHERE did the author tell me JUST WHAT THE FUCK THE PROPOSED MEASURES WERE! Instead they tried to scare me with what they would result in and how others felt about it. HOW ABOUT JUST TELL ME SPECIFICALLY WHAT THE PROPOSALS ARE, AND LET ME DECIDE HOW I FEEL ABOUT THEM?

Another issue is Afghanistan. I am not an unquestioning red or blue lockstep marcher. I like to think for myself but I am not an expert in foreign policy and would expect that a person PAID to inform me, would DO THEIR FUCKING JOB AND DO SO. I don't care how this makes Biden look. I don't care who agrees or who doesn't. I don't care about anything other than wanting an unbiased analysis of what we were trying to do there and why we are no longer trying to do that. Period.

These are just two recent examples, but to be honest, it's the same story for every story. When the stories were coming out on racial police brutality or excess, why was it so hard to find out what actually happened? When a new study is released, where is the clear delineation of the facts of the finding? Why is so much time devoted to uninformed third party opinions? If an accusation is made, where is the rebuttal from the accused? 

But, my exasperation with news is not unlike my frustration with politics, and unfortunately the same culprit is to blame for both: the American people. They encouraged news to be trivial, biased, and flashy. All the outlets did was what any commercial venture does: target their product to their audience. So if you are a proud member of the Red Guard, you have what you want. When you are done worshipping at your Trump shrine, you can turn on Fox and watch your heroes bash the other side while accomplishing nothing. And if you're a Blue Guard Twittermonger, in between thought-policing people's speech,  you can click on CNN and see the polar opposite.....with just as much being accomplished. Yay you! Why would either side want to waste their time learning actual facts when they can just go straight to the battle lines armed with the slogans already neatly provided?

Unfortunately there are WAY more Reds and Blues who fuel this partisan machine than folks like me who would like to make up our own minds on each issue and would prefer intelligent, problem-solving compromise to vitriol. Too bad vitriol sells so well. And besides, researching a topic is hard work for a journalist, and then reading it to a point of comprehension takes some concentration on our part as well. Who needs to bother with all that? Isn't life hard enough, what with your cell phone signal going out at times, or your Amazon delivery being delayed, or Alexa misunderstanding what you just asked for from your couch?

And isn't there plenty to worry about without adding more? I mean, when we will finally get serious about things that really affect us? Like......................................................................................................................................................whether LeVar Burton gets to host Jeopardy?
(Did you think I was going to say the environmental fate of our planet and the risk to our very survival as a species? Why? That's too bleak, and there's nothing we can do about it, and hey......I heard it's all a hoax anyway, and I heard that on the NEWS so it must be true!)


  1. I miss Walter Cronkite. I also miss the days when news was on twice a day, not 24 fucking seven.

    1. I agree. And you would think rather than repeating the same opinion and drivel throughout the day that they could use that time for detailed coverage of an issue. But....I'll bet my last dollar that the ONLY reason they don't is that people wouldn't watch it and they'd turn to the other station therefore quickly encouraging the producers to go right back to what they were doing. I always recommend a quick listen to Edward R. Murrow's "Wires and lights in a box" speech. I've posted it here before but you can see a great recreation of it on YouTube as excerpted from "Goodnight and Good Luck" and performed by David Strathairn. It sums it all up in about 4 minutes of eerie prediction delivered in 1958. Murrow saw it coming. The only thing I disagree with Murrow on in his assessment is that he gives the public too much credit. Yes, people WOULD watch.....but only a handful.

  2. is it an age thing? fb and twit bring us the news we want to hear all day. dennis leary joked about watching the iraq war live on cnn. in 1982 the boat leaving england to defend the falklands in a surprise attack was on tv and in the newspapers (not a huge surprise really)
    each generation gets more saturated with data. learning to turn that into information is the trick.

    1. I am sorry for not responding sooner. Something is weird with my email notices on comments. I missed several due to not having been alerted as I'm supposed to be. Anyway, let's correct that now. LOL

      I agree on the pervasiveness of information, but feel that researched expose on an issue takes a backseat to opinion and sensation. And that to me is not what a journalist should be doing.

  3. three im not a robot traffic light pics today before i finally got bicycles right

    i promisr im mit a robot. wouod a roboy notvspell / type better?

    1. I don't know why you are encountering robot pictures? I will look into it. I know you're not a robot. >in mechanized voice<"That does not compute."

  4. I definitely share images with denial in mind. While I know he might LIKE to have a wank over my images, I prefer to twist his desire tighter rather than grant release. (Like so: )

    When it comes to viewing imagery, I don't do so often (and I don't care for porn) but when I do, I'd rather NOT see everything hanging out. Forearms, buttoned flys (being unbuttoned, perhaps), hands, shoulders, legs, T-shirts being donned or removed... Those are more along the lines of what I find sexy in imagery of men. I don't imagine myself WITH the men I see in images in any way though, unless it is a man with whom I am romantically entangled. And then, it's more that it pulls up memories than as a trigger for fantasy fodder.

    But I get the inaccessibility thing.

    I have never heard the "young = inaccessible" argument before. I think you might be an anomaly in terms of Why Youth Appeals, but hey, it's a creative explanation.

    1. Ah, see? Another mystery solved. I think you mean this for a different post. AND I did not get a email notice that you posted again. Weird.

      Anyway, as to your point. I definitely think men and women view erotic imagery differently. And I think there might be studies to back that up.

      As for "youth/inaccessible"? Well, I think that's a product of my age. I find myself having a kind of nostalgia for being young myself, but even though I had plenty of relationships, never saw myself as someone who was terribly successful, but that doesn't make sense compared to people I know who truly weren't successful at all. I don't know why that is and think it may actually be a psychological throwback to when I was very young AND truly unsuccessful in having the relationships I desired and those memories became part of my identity, even though they were limited to a period of between age 10 and 14.