Romper, stomper, bomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?
Because journalism is clueless to facts, but heavy on narrative, it only knows the world through stories.
Not storytelling, but storyselling.
For decades, we have had Great Man narratives where the press drooled over rich white men, giving them free passes as many real scandals went ignored.
News that other groups needed were also roundly ignored, such as cult recruitment at university campuses, how women were denied business grants, and how certain minorities got mistreated in the justice system.
But journalists are binary creatures. They cannot truly correct their methods, meaning the same hard news stories — the same essential facts — people need to make informed decisions are again ignored, just a quick, and yes, temporary change in casting.
Now we have all sorts of positive spin propaganda that it would make the old guard Communist broadcasters proud. We can sweep all sorts of things under the rug because news has decided not to actually cover the issues everyone needs, but cheerlead they way everyone wants.
Selfies have crept into newscasts.
It is like the old Romper Room, where the hostess pretends to “see” the audiences through her “magic mirror”, which was just a piece plastic. It was sanctioned insanity, but it was used to placate three year-olds.
Modern adult audiences are still being treated like toddlers with patronizingly cheery — and patriarchal stories. You cannot tell the difference between news and advertising.
No, they aren’t covering city hall, unless it is to lick the politicians’ shoes.
They will cheer high schoolers’ slacktivism and the getting a paper crowns, but not whether or not they are being adequately educated, or whether they will be able to get jobs they can make a livable wage from.
It is all advertising, and happy news. Journalists will fawn over the grand opening of a restaurant, but not ask whether the building is constructed properly, the restaurant may be a front for illegal activity, or if the meat was made from deadstock (before you dismiss these questions, remember, I never bring anything up here unless I have previous verified stories of those exact problems happening in the past. I choose my examples carefully).
It is a highly deceptive practice: we have normally ignored sectors being shamelessly pandered to in the hopes they will gain ratings or readers.
But, there is no news. This is just advertising, not, as Lord Northcliffe once quipped, something somebody somewhere wants to suppress. These same groups are being kept as ignorant as they have in the past about things that are important to know.
For instance, we can talk about the poor. How many people actually realize they are poor?
It seems like a silly question bordering on stupid, but there is a poverty line, and many people below it are chipper in their insistence they are middle class. They may not have proper health care, dental care, or education.
Women may think #MeToo has weeded out all of the predators, except for those nondisclosure agreements — or that companies may decide to hire fewer women, and fewer kinds of women all while getting super fabulous press for donating money to a woman’s group.
And speaking of groups, how do we know they are legitimate? How do we know the money they raise is actually going to where they say it is going? And if it is, is it actually making a tangible and measurable difference?
Journalism has always appealed to vanity. What they needed was to do away with narrative and just give facts.
It is not to say that people shouldn’t be recognized for whatever paper crown they have achieved, but the news is not the place for it. There are other outlets for such unnecessary information.
The news is about what people actually need to know to navigate through life. We don’t, for instance, need to know who won an Oscar. You can watch the Oscars if you are so inclined to know it. You can go on an entertainment website or program. It is not going to impact your life in any regard.
How much your taxes are going up does impact your life. Whether or not certain business need to be inspected to run also impacts you. The poverty level of your neighbourhood is also important to know. How well certain industries are regulation, and the cancer rate of the building you work in are also important.
As if how much of your medical history is being compromised. Whether the teacher in your school has a history of being a sexual predator is also important to know. How your donations to various charities through retailers who harass you at the checkout is used for corporations to get a tax write-off is also in your interest to know.
That’s news. Not a photo-op. Not a speech opening a business. That’s just frills.
We now have a society that has a compulsion to hide from reality and always put a sunny spin on rot, and get offended if they are expose to unpleasant truths that their cities are in decay, that their children are, in fact, uneducated despite their degrees, and that the vitamins they take may be filled with toxins and not the nutrients promised on the label, let alone if the private school they are sending their child is a pipeline for terrorist recruitment.
And then, when buildings collapse, riots break out, and bodies pile up during a school rampage, people are shocked. That magic mirror blinded them from reality, making problems even worse.
It is the same old script, and it has done nothing to progress society. Journalism is not about giving insecure narcissists applause. It is about facts. Find the truth. Map out reality. Leave the narratives to fiction writers.
Just tell it like it is. No better, no worse.
And stop being indistinguishable from a pseudo-feministic tampon commercial. It’s patronizing, insincere, and revolting.
People don’t need pat on the heads, but a swift kick in the backside is far more effective to snapping people out of their slumber.