Media Victim

“The media isn’t covering the thing I find important is focusing on this other thing I think is not important and they’re not covering it in the right way!”

“Let me tell you about the stuff they won’t DARE to cover in the mainstream media…”

“You can’t trust the LAMEstream — see what I did there — media because they’re biased toward that side I don’t agree with!”

Quotes courtesy of every pundit and coworker and person on Facebook who doesn’t know how to form a cohesive argument without vilifying an amorphous, faceless entity in the course of obfuscating an actual point.

Image source
Image source

Whenever I hear the term “media” when someone is speaking, my brain automatically tunes out the person by humming that Crash Test Dummies song from the 90s while plotting what I can drink, smoke, swallow, huff or inject to poison the brain cell unfortunate enough to carry the memory of this encounter.  The term “mainstream media” is used as an ambiguous bludgeon to establish oneself/political ideology as the underdog.

I’m not sure how it is in other countries, but in the U.S. there is a fetishization of being the underdog. People are constantly trying to position themselves as simultaneously the victim and the strong. It’s exhausting. I would think that after decades of televised news we would all be tired of this trite non-argument and immediately dismiss any notion of mainstream media bias and coverup.

The complaints have been blanketing the talking-head space for a long time, complaining about the media on massive media outlets, refusing to define what it means because that might underline their hypocrisy. What, specifically, is the mainstream media? Television news? Okay, but does that include ALL televised news? What about internet news shows? Is it just network news or does cable count? What about print news? All print news, even those weird monthly newspapers that you can find on wire racks at the front doors of your favorite lunch spot (you know the ones I’m talking about, they usually call themselves something like “The Independent” and you can almost smell the patchouli oil cloud that engulfs the people who wrote the articles about how GMO’s are literally murdering your favorite pet)? Where does “mainstream” end? Who is invited under the tent of “media”?

TV is coming to get you! Or not, be self-empowered. (Not sure the source, I found it here)
TV is coming to get you! Or not, be self-empowered. (Image Source)

If I’m/we’re being serious, the bobble heads vomiting this vitriolic palaver are referring to every televised outlet that doesn’t agree completely with what they are saying. We know it’s TV news specifically because nobody reads anymore. Don’t we all know that televised news isn’t journalism? Local news goes back-and-forth between 20 second clips of tragedy, some political distraction, and a puppy ice skating; while the 24 hour news of cable hyper-focuses on whatever dead horse they can superficially flog until it turns to a disgusting paste they try to spoon feed their viewers.

Let’s call it what it is: scapegoating. The media isn’t biased.  Jon Stewart correctly pointed out that, “the bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness.” The media isn’t out to “get” any person on purpose. The media isn’t actively ignoring any one story (remember that when someone posts a meme on social media about how news outlets are ignoring a story, a simple Google search will prove otherwise) they either are reporting on it but your confirmation bias makes you blind to it, or it’s not a story that will get ratings. It’s all imaginary. There are enough news outlets now that you can get the news you’re looking for in the way you want to see it that if you don’t like “mainstream” media, you have the luxury of ignoring it, whiners.

There’s nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others and the media–whatever “they” are–are just an easy way to deflect from one’s own deficiencies.

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11 Comments

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  1. This post is too effin deep for me, Pickleope, especially first thing on a Monday morning. So I’ll leave a non-analytical, superficial, entertainment-related comment. My only personal brush with celebrity was in Winnipeg once when I saw Brad Roberts, the lead singer of the Crash Test Dummies, in my neighbourhood pharmacy where he was picking up a prescription for his Mom. It was at the height of the band’s fame. He was dressed all in black leather and was very sexy. (The band originated in Winnipeg so he must have been back home visiting).

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  2. So cynical but so right. I was checking through news channels this morning while getting ready to run errands. I have friends in NYC and NJ and I was worried when I saw that 5 more bombs were found. One news channel was covering Hillary and when she would be making a statement. Three of the news channels were still beating that poor dead horse about Trump and the birther movement. I had to find out the info through phone calls while I was waiting at the lab. Our news programs, papers, magazines, etc are all worthless crap.

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    • I think there are a lot of good papers and magazines and websites doing actual journalism and fact checking, it has just become both harder and easier to find them. Easier to find thanks to the internet, harder to find because there’s just so much noise out there that many give up.

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  3. What to say, what to say, I don’t know what to say, so what do I say, I say nothing but I will add lamestream media is just that lame

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  4. I always have to remind myself that the objective of the news is not to tell me what happened, but to get me to watch the news.

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  5. I was proud to be a newspaper reporter. I was often complimented for being “the only one who quoted [people] correctly.” I did my research. I never reported anything without plenty of confirmation. It’s been a long time since I was a reporter, but I know reporters of my ilk are still out there.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. I watch some mainstream stuff (i consider that to be cable news), but I get the majority of my info from internet shows (TYT, yo!) and podcasts.

    *puts on tinfoil hat* I largely agree, BUT i do think many newspeople/journalists are doing a false equivalency. “Well, the clinton foundation does a ton of good work but maybe has some questionable relationships, and the trump foundation is a steaming pile of crap that has been fined by IRS and barely gives $ out (and when they do, it’s just passthru from another foundation) and trump hasn’t donated to it since 2008, which is an interesting choice for an alleged billionaire. So it just depends on what kind of foundation you prefer!” Wait, what?!

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    • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that newspeople are doing a GOOD job. They’re ratings-starved greed machines that put the basest of spins on things and thrive off of click-bait. Al Jazeera does a good job because they care about their work. They care so hard that they get in fist fights in the newsroom over how to proceed with a story. That’s commitment. But also, the fact that you know the difference between the two foundations means someone, some journalist somewhere is doing a good job.

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  7. abeerfortheshower September 21, 2016 — 8:50 pm

    This is why I get my news straight from Pickleope, the Source You Can Trust™.

    And I have to say, I really enjoyed that segment last week on the water-skiing squirrel.

    Like

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