At Some Point Don’t You Want to Be About Something?

The cowardice on display here is truly amazing:

Jesus TITS. If enough people are talking about a thing, that means they deserve a story about a thing, even if that thing doesn’t exist, isn’t remotely what they’re talking about, is mostly or entirely bullshit, or is otherwise something any good editor should kill with a kitchen knife. This is garbage: 

Seems worthwhile to look into allegations that have currency over readers, voters- and present the facts as we find them.

I HAVE LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

Starters: What’s this “currency” certain “allegations” have? How is the amount determined? Is it in the number of unhinged subreddit posts? Frequency of calls to the editor? Editor’s spouse bringing it up at the dinner table? Posts on the paper’s Facebook page accusing it of COVERING ALL THIS UP?

What is the worth of that currency? Who is in charge of counting it? How is it insured? Given the sources for this trash fire of a story, should we really be abandoning the gold standard here?

Why do certain allegations garner “currency” and others do not? If “lots of people being pissed about something” is the going rate independent of any other consideration, I must have missed all those stories about the very legitimate gripes Americans have against illegal spying, the never-ending war on terror and the presence of literal Nazis in the White House. Those things are, in addition to having hella currency, actually real.

This is all just so stupid and sad. Journalists are going to sit around at conferences for the next year talking about what they could have done differently in this election, come to the sad but inevitable conclusion that NOTHING, lament that kids don’t read anymore and all anyone cares about are Kardashians, and cower in fear of Breitbart. They’ll wax nostalgic for some imaginary time, maybe during the Murrow or Cronkite era, when they could have done real shit, taken real stands, effected real change.

And it will just goddamn escape them that their chance is right fucking now today, that they don’t have to be beholden to whatever wingnut newsletter cause is filling up their inbox, that they do in fact have choices and can choose to be grownups.

God, nothing bothers me more than self-imposed helplessness. Do you know how many people don’t have the CHOICE to be helpless? Especially here, especially now, with deportations and international hissyfits and everybody arming up for the coming apocalypse? Like how dare reporters whine about how awkward it is to just suggest that maybe we not do stories about things that are crap?

You don’t even have to get into political bias to get here. All you need is cowardice and a healthy dose of stupidity.

Via John McQuaid.

A.

2 thoughts on “At Some Point Don’t You Want to Be About Something?

  1. personalpest says:

    USA Today is indeed about something: making money. Apparently journalism is only a means to that end.

    Like

  2. gratuitous says:

    It’s the Cokie Rule, named for Cokie Roberts, who explained why she was giving coverage to some bullshit story some years ago: Because it was “out there.” Which is to say, someone like Drudge made up something, it got some minor play in some of the more fetid backwaters of nearly legitimate media, then was mentioned by Fox or CBS or given tangential mention in the Times or the Post.

    Because it had now crossed the legitimate media membrane, the bullshit story could be mentioned, analyzed, and accepted or rejected. It provided a very important opposite pole to some nonsense “both sides” narrative. And even if Cokie and her pals at the beauty shoppe all agreed the story was bullshit, questions would linger like a sour fart and someone – most likely the Democrats – would be charged with refuting the bullshit story that everyone knew was bullshit. When a Democratic spokesperson finally rolled his eyes loudly enough at the bullshit story, it would regain currency because now the denial was “out there.”

    Beats working.

    Like

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