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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is mainstream news?

 ~  One big happy 'Family'- 'mommy', daddy', 'brother' and 'sister' telling me all will be OK

In a lot of blogposts here at 'A&G', the focus is on the financial and mainstream media (MSM).  Obviously this is not accidental.  Deciding where one is to obtain their information on finance, politics and any other topic of interest is one of the few controls an individual has left.  But it takes work to cipher through all the muck- effort that admittedly most don't wish to bother making. 

Most people genuinely do not care about the news in any way.  Then there's a percentage who think they're informed because they watch the 6:30p network news or the local paper filled with AP stories since newspapers are too cheap to hire journalists of their own.  Then there's a small percentage called 'news junkies' who will watch FoxNews, MSNBC or CNN for 8-10 hours a day and feel they're adequately informed.  This is false.

To really understand what's happening in the world, it takes two things-

1) Independently finding information and trusted news sources, particularly on the internet, that present a realistic and sincere appraisal of the facts. Like the concept of 'comfort food' which is empty-calorie junk, the MSM presents 'comfort news' where the point of view presented is meant to make you feel happy.  2)  This takes time, but one has to develop their own BS detector-  to read a news story or listen to something presented and be able to parse through the spin and corporate bias.

 ~ Only trust well-dressed media Personalities for news. Journalists aren't simply not attractive enough to convey news believably...

Notice I said corporate bias and not political bias.  This is because political bias is rather transparent- corporate bias is not.  Corporate bias means that news is presented in such a way that a populace stay docile and content- that no matter what information is presented.  It may at times provoke sadness or anger but in a minimalized way so as to not provoke call to action or societal protest against the system.  Also, information is to be presented with no context and analysis.  It is just 'there' followed by another headline or story. Nothing is to be presented to viewers or readers which may upset advertisers and the corporate hierarchy.

A big MSM mantra is that no news story is to last more than a week, not even 9/11.  Most people did not pay attention to this amid the outpouring of grief and sadness after 9/11 but it is important to go over the mainstream news time line.   On Tuesday 9-11-2001, the nation was attacked causing over 3000 lives lost.  The media focused on the panic and the beginnings of recovery amid the wreckage at Ground Zero.   By Friday, there was a Memorial service to the victims attended by many government dignitaries including past Presidents.  By the beginning of the following week, the MSM changed to focus on people getting back to normal.  Bush told everyone basically if you shop in malls or take trips to Hawaii you were a 'patriot' because then the terrorists wouldn't win.  The MSM gobbled it up and that was the focus of the Sept 17-24, 2001 news week.

Remember-- All MSM stories last for one week, then disappear.

~ I like seeing news anchors smile and chat... It makes me feel part of their group

The purpose of MSM is to be entertaining, not enlightening.  If sobering stories must be addressed or negative statistics, then they media must minimize, trivialize and rationalize to keep viewers and readers feeling optimistic.  Money is to be spent on elaborate, eye-pleasing sets and equally eye-pleasing people who read news off teleprompters then breezily chit chat amongst each other in a light way to elicit a feeling of sociable inclusion between the anchors and viewers.

There was a time back until the early-mid 1970s where news was meant to inform and educate.  That it was not supposed to have entertainment value and the news departments of TV networks were not expected to turn a profit.  The last 40 years, the media landscape has changed.  The 1975 movie "Network" accurately depicts this corporate shift from news being information to being profit driven. Yes, the movie where the famous line "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore" was uttered.

There is an old adage which summarizes the ability or inability to get truthful info from others--  "If you want to know the weather, don't turn on the TV.  Go outside"

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