By: Billy BeerSlugger
A lot of the media is making a big deal over President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen in an effort to lure the Olympics to Chicago. Seriously, who gives a shit. If no one is going to make a big deal over his going on The Late Show with Dave Letterman then why is this a big deal? There’s a lot of bullshit coming at us from all angles.
Yes the President should be focused on bettering the country and the economy and the wars and all that stuff but it’s not like there’s not a computer on Air Force one. If thousands of people take the train to work everyday for an extended period of time and get work done don’t you think that the friggin President of The United States would be able to pull off the same?
With the 24 hour news networks trying to fill time this is what they decide to poke Obama on? There’s a poll on it, the news networks have a 4 panel discussion on why they think it is or is not a good idea. Again, who gives a fuck? Then you have the millions of real internet news sources as well as the fake ones (like BeerSlugger.com) debating the shit out of it too.
Everything the President does is held under a microscope and rightfully so but does everything need to be debated to death? Does absolutely everything need to be reported on? The 24 hour Cable News Networks much like the 24 Hour Cable Sports Networks absolutely beat things to death that 5 or 6 years ago wouldn’t have seen airtime. It’s getting to the point where in the future we may get Newsflashes that Obama is taking a dump. Just like we got updates on Mike Vick being in pads and practicing or Mike Vick getting into a game and throwing two passes and running twice for a total of 7 yards. Sportscenter usually shows stats on people who do well or at least actually start the game, but not in Mike Vick’s case, it doesn’t matter what he does or if he gets in the game at all they still report on him. I remember back in the late 90’s when ESPN would give you Dick Trickle’s back of the pack finish in a NASCAR race just because he had a funny name. It’s getting to that point where a player can be an absolute non-factor in a games and still get mainstream media attention.
Now if you have read any of my prior stories on the Mass Media you know I’m not a big fan of what’s going on. The news (the real news) was supposed to be fair, impartial and as objective as possible. Presenting all the facts and letting the audience decide which way to lean on a particular issue. The ABC’s and CBS’s and NBC’s of the world used to be pretty good at this but now no one watches the World/US News on Prime Time Newtork TV or it’s just not a money maker therefore Networks have dumped these programs in favor of cookie cutter reality TV shows. It’s sad.
It’s gotten to the point that I’ve found a couple of internet sites that are trying to correct that, even if they’re not exactly mainstream.
Pro Publica is a site I really like: http://www.propublica.org/
It describes itself as “an independent non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.” Their full time staff investigates stories and then gives them away for free to mainstream news outlets like 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and others. Actually anyone is free to republish their stories so long as they are credited with the work and none of the content is changed (something I’m considering putting on BeerSlugger if I read a particularly good article). Pretty cool if you ask me and they have a multitude of Pulitzer Prize winning authors on staff. If I were a top flight journo trying to make a difference in the world without selling out to Corporate America this would be on a short list of places I’d like to work.
Another website I came across is http://www.spot.us/, also a non-profit. This website brings together citizens, journalists and news publishers and allows you to pitch a particular story to readers of the site who may donate money to see the story come to fruition and actually get published. The principal of crowd-funding and or crowd-sourcing are used here in a sort of grass roots effort to get better journalism to the masses. Also a pretty cool concept.
Overall, things aren’t going to get any better in my eyes in terms of how mass media handles and decides what is news and what isn’t. I already get 90% of my news from the Internet and I can see that number growing as TV News continues to be dominated by inane pundits and superficial stories.
Are you ready to do the same? Dan Rather is rather fed up with the bullshit on TV News and he’s taking CBS to court about it.
“We have very large corporate interests working with powerful political interests to manipulate the news and the people who report the news, whatever their political persuasion. I don’t think the American people want them, and what I have been seeking to do in this trial is to bring out the facts.”