“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo, aka Walt Kelly
It’s All Our Own Fault
How many of us have read more about Miley Cyrus than about the real possibility of going to war against Syria?
Millions more, according to CNN Managing Editor Meredith Artley, who supported her words with facts that were her excuse for making Miley Cyrus’ disgraceful behavior the top CNN story last week.
The truth pains me.
I started my journalism career back when hard-working reporters kept a bottle of Black Velvet (they couldn’t afford the good stuff) stuck in the back of a desk drawer, and when demanding city editors chomped on a cigar as they chewed me, or other reporters out, for not digging deep enough for our stories.
It was the era when journalists were trying to bring the truth about the Vietnam War to the public, the days of Watergate reporting. I, personally, wrote stories about the pain of a mother who had lost her son in Vietnam, of tough environmental issues that may have made a difference, and stories about an Idaho congressman who was kiting checks – and felt victorious when he was not re-elected.
Newsrooms, during my 37-year career, got politically correct. The booze and the cigars were banished, which was probably a good thing. But what pains me is that celebrities have escaped from the back entertainment pages to dominate Page One headlines. It was already starting when I retired almost 10 years ago. And it gets more blatant every day that passes.
That it is happening is “Bullshit,” said the CNN managing editor. “We know it and you know it. We also know that you are probably dumb enough … to click on the stupid bullshit anyway, and that you will continue to do it … You want to know how many more page views the Miley Cyrus thing got than our article on the wildfires ravaging Yosemite? Like 6 gazillion more. That’s on you, not us.”
For CNN, those millions of page views add up to millions of dollars. And that’s the reason for the media now giving people what they want instead of what they need to know. I wish it were different. But it’s not.
Pogo said it perfectly. The enemy is us, and we have no one else to blame. Well, I, for one, am going to boycott all front-page entertainment news from this day forward – and make my hits count for more important news.
Who will join me?
Bean’s Pat: Jesus and the $20 Bill http://tinyurl.com/k3o5mrj Great memoir story by one of my favorite bloggers.