CONTINUED FROM PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN…PART I
You. While you thought you were the consumer, in reality you are the product. The consumer is every company that you see flash before your eyes with 15 to 30 seconds of a slogan or a talking animal between all those current events. The key to realizing who is the consumer and who is the product is to (cliché alert) follow the money. Did you stick a quarter in the side of your TV to sit down and watch a chunk of the A block? No? Then you are not the customer. If you are getting something for free, you are almost always some variation of a product or a middle man on somebody else’s way toward a product.The news outfit makes its money by selling your eyeballs to other companies who want you to check out their flashy spiel. It’s a great system and has been working for probably as long as humanity has been around. Everybody hates commercials (except during the Super Bowl). If I told you I was gonna sit you down and give you a sales pitch on something you havn’t even heard of or don’t know that you want you would probably opt out. But if I show you something you really want to see or hear, like a story or anything really, and then throw in little bits of the sale pitch in between the story, I’ve got a person who will sit through my spiel, thinking your not really paying attention, only waiting for the rest of the story to unravel.
Everyone knows how commercials work but we don’t really follow it to its logical conclusion. You think because something is endearingly called a ‘news network’ that that means it’s got to be truthful and give you the news. All it’s really got to do is give you enough of anything in order to get you to watch long enough for the commercials to come on, and then sit through those commercials until the news comes back on. There’s a million strategies. Some think telling stories from a Leftist point of view will get you to do it. Others from a Conservative point of view. Still others bank on anchor women with their tops falling off. No matter what it is, money goes from company X to the pockets of newcast Y in hopes of getting you to look at their products. Meanwhile newscast Y gives you news stories for free in hopes that you’ll watch the commercials for company X and buy their products, thus convincing company X to purchase more commercial space. So at the end of the day all you are is a product, being served up to the advertisers that buy spots in between the news segments. News outfits turn out not to be dispencers of truth and enlightenment but end up more like eyeball dealers.
In their world it’s all about volume and it’s literally a war to keep eyeballs in stock. It’s not like Walmart where once they put the work into getting stuff on their shelves it sits there until people buy it. No it’s more like Walmart stocking it’s shelves with shampoo and then in the middle of the night a bunch of Target managers sneak in and steal half of their inventory so when customers come in the next day they are annoyed at Walmart and want them to come down on their price since they can no longer service my standing bulk order of Head and Shoulders. As more and more networks were created they all needed a piece of that pie, and since the viewing public generally has only two eyeballs per person, that pie doesn’t really get all that much bigger. And since in the real world events really only just happen the way they happen, telling just the facts creates somewhat of a stalemate. So they toy with different personalities that give you the news hoping you’ll connect with some over others, giving them an edge. This works but not well enough. Turns out infotainment and fear are great tools. And so starts the sensational arms race that is the modern 24 hour news cycle.
Some like to fault the media themselves for not being noble enough to stick to the facts or not spin things but that’s the thing. All that would be is noble, and just as nobody will argue that bread isn’t a bad thing for a man to eat, no business is built on nobility alone. The Noble News Network would go out of business in today’s cultural climate very fast. And in fact, the only reason a factual and truthful news organization, with no gossip, or scandal or punch-line to get us all riled up, would gain popularity at all would be more because of its novelty than anything else. But once the novelty wore off it would quickly lose ratings because it would not be able to compete with sensation, gossip, speculation, arousal and the rest of the provocateur’s arsenal.
N0 ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately it’s not the evil liberal media, or even the evil greedy corporations who are to blame for the lack of taste and the surplus of spin on the news these days. It’s the man in the mirror…
TO BE CONTINUED