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Subject: The reason we get More Jacko and less vital news. Thanks Fox! rss

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So I sat down to dinner last night in front of my flickering old 20" TV. What to watch while I eat?

NEWS!

CNN... Michael Jackson
MSNBC... Michael Jackson
Fox News... Michael Jackson

I left it on Fox, turned volume down low and began to read a bit. Then the evening program called "Special Report" started. And lo and behold! They were talking about something other than Jackson's death, life, perv stuff and so forth.

One segment was a panel segment. Good, well-rounded panel. Two Democrats and two Republicans. One NPR person, one journalism professor, a WSJ pundit and someone I forget on the (R) team. The moderator is Brett Behr... not sure if I spelled it right.

They discussed why every station has been all Jacko, all the time. The panel agreed it was BS. They all agreed much more important events need covering. But they also faced the reality of how little news has to do with relevance or informing the public and how much has to do with maintaining ratings and selling soap.

Juan Williams, the NPR (D) guy said it all... that you could literally watch thousands of sets click off the Fox network every time they covered something other than Jackson. And when they went back to Jackson, the ratings skyrocketed.

Of course we all "knew" this is the way news is done in the modern world. But I'd never come across a televised discussion about it. All four panelists agreed that there really wasn't a damned thing any news channel could do about it either. They have to sell soap or die.

Google is failing at delivering as well. I'm no expert but I have a passable understanding of how items appear higher up in the page order on search engines and I've noticed Google News is drifting towards popularity rather than meat. Not completely of course, but the signs are there.

I suppose it's just a matter of time until everyone will be watching live feeds from head mounted cams in the style of Ruby Rhod in The 5th Element.

No wonder the thieves in DC get away with a continual crime spree... nobody is interested as long as somebody is dying from an OD or cheating on their wife.

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Wow, that's great. I admire the perspicacity of a channel that avoids wasting any time on discussion of Michael Jackson by spending the hour discussing the burning news issue of why people are discussing Michael Jackson.
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Let's talk about why Fox is talking about the talk on MJ.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Wow, that's great. I admire the perspicacity of a channel that avoids wasting any time on discussion of Michael Jackson by spending the hour discussing the burning news issue of why people are discussing Michael Jackson.


Where did I say they spent an hour? I believe I used the word "segment". Typically those run about 8 minutes. You really hate Fox I guess.

Anyway, the segment began with the discussion of emails received from regular viewers complaining about the overwhelming amount of coverage of MJ. I thought the journalism professor was a good addition to the discussion as it is, after all, her specialty.
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Actually, I do think that talking about this MJ phenomenon is news. Covering the memorial service etc is meaningless to me. But discussing the effect it has on people and the media is anthropology.
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Latria wrote:
Actually, I do think that talking about this MJ phenomenon is news. Covering the memorial service etc is meaningless to me. But discussing the effect it has on people and the media is anthropology.

Oh yes you are right. If they did in in, say, 2018, I would have thought they even were honest about it. But right in the middle of it, it is just another program about MJ.
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chiddler wrote:
You know what your problem is here Tripp, your sample is biased because you live in America. There NO serious news sources on American television - not a one. What you need in your life is the BBC - the evil. pinko, socialist BBC.

As a Jacko free zone I can also offer CCTV over here. Okay, not totally free. I think I saw one brief segement here or there, but only as a side note.

Xinjiang on the other hand ...
 
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chiddler wrote:
You know what your problem is here Tripp, your sample is biased because you live in America. There NO serious news sources on American television - not a one.

What you need in your life is the BBC - the evil. pinko, socialist BBC.


Or Al Jazeera.
 
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Come on guys. I'm as down on Fox (and Tripp :-))as anyone but at least this segment sounds like it was a genuine attempt to analyse news coverage and it's the sort of thing that is encouraging to see.
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Latria wrote:
Actually, I do think that talking about this MJ phenomenon is news. Covering the memorial service etc is meaningless to me. But discussing the effect it has on people and the media is anthropology.

I believe I know one subliminal reason that Jackson's death affected many people: In a sense, it marked the falling of one of the pop-cultural pillars of the Decade of the 1980s and made those Jackson fans who grew up during that decade all the more aware of their own mortality.

I remember the first time I as a kid learned about the death of Thornton P. Burgess, one of my favorite children's book authors, it was one of the first times I sensed the finality of death while appreciating the author's literary legacy.

A decade ago, I as an adult felt an even more pronounced sense of loss when I learned about the death of children's book author Beverly Cleary. Again, it felt like one of the literary pillars of the decade of my childhood had fallen.

So, in a sense, any time that an artist, author, statesman, scientist, pop-culture icon or actor dies, it's like either a plank or pillar is collapsing or falling from a great building (representative of the decade we grew up in) in much the same way that a real building, when left unattended, slowly crumbles into ruin and finally into dust over time.





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chiddler wrote:
You know what your problem is here Tripp, your sample is biased because you live in America. There NO serious news sources on American television - not a one.

What you need in your life is the BBC - the evil. pinko, socialist BBC.

Theres a lot that I agree with here. (As usual Mark.)

The BBC did manage to keep its head - the international news page I saw was only ~ 35% covered with Wacko.
Our ABC however succumbed and put out.

I applaud any news factoid/opiniod program that even dares to begin to look at infotainment tittytainment. Well done Fox.
If they also look at the vital role that tittytainment plays in a successful terror attack I'd be amazed. And pleased.
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Pinook wrote:
The BBC did manage to keep its head - the international news page I saw was only ~ 35% covered with Wacko.

More importantly, Jackson's memorial service did end up becoming more of a television event anyway since only some 600 Jackson fans who didn't get tickets were in evidence around L.A.'s Staples Center. (They'd been anticipating as much as several hundred thousand.)

Seems that most Jackson fans without memorial-service tickets did as advised and stayed home to watch the service on TV. After all, there were no jumbotron TV screens outside the Staples Center.

As for the lottery held to dispense the tickets to the memorial service, other than for some who chose to profiteer off of Jackson's death by selling them on eBay, the memorial tickets lottery seemed about as democratically fair a way to handle the matter as possible, and they were free tickets at that.


 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Wow, that's great. I admire the perspicacity of a channel that avoids wasting any time on discussion of Michael Jackson by spending the hour discussing the burning news issue of why people are discussing Michael Jackson.

While funny, I don't think this sarcasm is particularly fair; the state of news reportage and the effects of commercial pressure on coverage of news events is surely a valid topic for televised debate, even though it might be sparked by news stories like Jackson's death that are not in themselves worthy of extensive coverage by serious-minded news programmes. As a disclaimer I have not seen the piece about which DWTripp wrote.
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Hammerite wrote:
While funny, I don't think this sarcasm is particularly fair;


Great. One out of two is better than my usual average.
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Hammerite wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Wow, that's great. I admire the perspicacity of a channel that avoids wasting any time on discussion of Michael Jackson by spending the hour discussing the burning news issue of why people are discussing Michael Jackson.

While funny, I don't think this sarcasm is particularly fair; the state of news reportage and the effects of commercial pressure on coverage of news events is surely a valid topic for televised debate, even though it might be sparked by news stories like Jackson's death that are not in themselves worthy of extensive coverage by serious-minded news programmes. As a disclaimer I have not seen the piece about which DWTripp wrote.

I agree completely. Discussions of this sort fall into the "stitch in time saves nine" category. As much evil and fucked-upedness as there is in the world, if all of the new channels took some time to address what a mess TV news is in, it would be a net gain. Especially when the stories that this discussion was displacing weren't important, it was all MJ, all the time. If this can be the event that jogs American media out of its complacency and get them to take their job serio--haha, I can't go on with a straight face.

Anyway; kudos to Fox for for taking a moment to notice how much crud is in their belly button. Sadly, many of their viewers just heard "blah, blah, blah" pointy-head talk and changed the channel to "16 and Pregnant" as fast as their thumbs could carry them.
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While I agree with at least two sentiments here, that the all Jacko all the time has been obnoxious and that this referenced Fox News discussion is basically admirable, it is also worth noting that we don't have to buy this crap. We, the consuming public are in control ultimately. If we don't buy, they won't sell. No one is twisting anyone's arms here. Just turn off the TV and pull out a board game. And if the public at large does decide to buy, we still don't have to.
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No doubt, all this Wacko Jacko reporting is totally getting in the way of the really important news of Sarah Palin.
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On day one of the insanity, Fox slipped up during the 6:00 CST hour and said "Michael Jordan died today..."

Wait... What?!?
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Wrayman wrote:
While I agree with at least two sentiments here, that the all Jacko all the time has been obnoxious and that this referenced Fox News discussion is basically admirable, it is also worth noting that we don't have to buy this crap. We, the consuming public are in control ultimately. If we don't buy, they won't sell. No one is twisting anyone's arms here. Just turn off the TV and pull out a board game. And if the public at large does decide to buy, we still don't have to.


We don't, that's true. But collectively we do the opposite. And revenues drive business, therefore news channels cover what gets the most attention. It's a case of the viewing public deciding what "news" is via their remote control.

So as much as those of us here in RSP can tsk, tsk about how shallow journalism has become there isn't a whole hell of a lot we can do about it because more people want stuff like MJ coverage than they want difficult news coverage,

Holmes! makes a point here...

Quote:
Sadly, many of their viewers just heard "blah, blah, blah" pointy-head talk and changed the channel to "16 and Pregnant" as fast as their thumbs could carry them.


Which reminds me of the thought I had while watching the panel discuss how shoddy journalism has become since the advent of consumer-driven programming. My thought was: I wonder how many people watching this show are right this moment clicking over to CNN or MSNBC to find out if Michael Jackson is still dead?
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DWTripp wrote:
Wrayman wrote:
While I agree with at least two sentiments here, that the all Jacko all the time has been obnoxious and that this referenced Fox News discussion is basically admirable, it is also worth noting that we don't have to buy this crap. We, the consuming public are in control ultimately. If we don't buy, they won't sell. No one is twisting anyone's arms here. Just turn off the TV and pull out a board game. And if the public at large does decide to buy, we still don't have to.


We don't, that's true. But collectively we do the opposite. And revenues drive business, therefore news channels cover what gets the most attention. It's a case of the viewing public deciding what "news" is via their remote control.

So as much as those of us here in RSP can tsk, tsk about how shallow journalism has become there isn't a whole hell of a lot we can do about it because more people want stuff like MJ coverage than they want difficult news coverage,

Holmes! makes a point here...

Quote:
Sadly, many of their viewers just heard "blah, blah, blah" pointy-head talk and changed the channel to "16 and Pregnant" as fast as their thumbs could carry them.


Which reminds me of the thought I had while watching the panel discuss how shoddy journalism has become since the advent of consumer-driven programming. My thought was: I wonder how many people watching this show are right this moment clicking over to CNN or MSNBC to find out if Michael Jackson is still dead?


I agree completely. What concerns me more are the nasty implications this has for our democracy. I don't like that viewers/citizens/cattle who "just heard "blah, blah, blah" pointy-head talk and changed the channel to "16 and Pregnant" as fast as their thumbs could carry them" have the same voting power that concerned citizens do. I don't know what the answer should be. A voting litmus test would also be terrible. I think that in the end, it boils down to individuals and their choices. The populace will get the programming, and representation, that they want/deserve.
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Ok, I'm going to say something that is going to make me lose ANY semblance of 'right wing' cred, and probably make DW Tripp and enemy for life, but here goes.

The reason that we have "All Jacko, all the Time!" is a direct result of the Reagan era deregulation of the airwaves.

Meant with the best of motives, it turns out TV ISN'T "just a toaster", as the former head of the FCC argued, "like any other appliance".

Prior to deregulation, news departments for TV stations were judged by their 'service' to the community- how many awards they got, the approval of their peers.

AFTER deregulation, news shows were put under the pressure to produce RATINGS. And anything goes....As a result, we got 'If it bleeds, it leads' coverage, local news that is merely a collection of video feeds from accross the country showing dramatic car chases (I remember being in Spokane watching on 'local' news, a car chase in the Key West), and National News that is increasingly under pressure to pull in eyeballs that REALLY just want to watch good looking naked bodies having sex and/or beating the pulp out of each other on cable.

IF, the American people were able to really take responsiblity for what they watched, we would have told the networks, during the OJ fiasco, NO!!

But we didn't. We're too fascinated by the morbid, the strange, the titilating. And so, our news has devolved to that.

Alas, I'm not sure how we put the genie back in the bottle, in any way that won't end up being WORSE.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
Ok, I'm going to say something that is going to make me lose ANY semblance of 'right wing' cred, and probably make DW Tripp and enemy for life, but here goes.

The reason that we have "All Jacko, all the Time!" is a direct result of the Reagan era deregulation of the airwaves.


That doesn't cost you any right-wing cred with me, amigo.

Darilian wrote:

Alas, I'm not sure how we put the genie back in the bottle, in any way that won't end up being WORSE.


All my suggestions would involve paramilitary law enforcement. It might be unconstitutional, but it's hell on genies.
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Darilian wrote:
Ok, I'm going to say something that is going to make me lose ANY semblance of 'right wing' cred, and probably make DW Tripp and enemy for life, but here goes.

The reason that we have "All Jacko, all the Time!" is a direct result of the Reagan era deregulation of the airwaves.

Meant with the best of motives, it turns out TV ISN'T "just a toaster", as the former head of the FCC argued, "like any other appliance".

Prior to deregulation, news departments for TV stations were judged by their 'service' to the community- how many awards they got, the approval of their peers.

AFTER deregulation, news shows were put under the pressure to produce RATINGS. And anything goes....As a result, we got 'If it bleeds, it leads' coverage, local news that is merely a collection of video feeds from accross the country showing dramatic car chases (I remember being in Spokane watching on 'local' news, a car chase in the Key West), and National News that is increasingly under pressure to pull in eyeballs that REALLY just want to watch good looking naked bodies having sex and/or beating the pulp out of each other on cable.

IF, the American people were able to really take responsiblity for what they watched, we would have told the networks, during the OJ fiasco, NO!!

But we didn't. We're too fascinated by the morbid, the strange, the titilating. And so, our news has devolved to that.

Alas, I'm not sure how we put the genie back in the bottle, in any way that won't end up being WORSE.

Darilian


Your conservative cred is intact with me. You are just stating the facts. If I were concerned about partisan Republican cred, I might take issue.

The thing is, I don't think that things are necessarily worse in this regard. I don't think that it was better to have a more closed and controlled definition of "news". I think it is generally better that we have a free market of ideas. The control was always with us, the public. Now we also have the responsibility. That is a good thing. I think that with time we will become more mature. Until then, all the mess associated with immaturity is to be expected. I would love to temper and guide that process but there is no "parent" to do that. It is a great mistake to think the government can be that parent.

*edit*
That isn't quite the case, actually. I believe there is a parent that can temper and guide us through our immaturity. I don't specifically want to invoke God here though. Within the context of politics and entertainment, we have our own choices to make.
 
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Wray, bless you, I dig where you're coming from when you say that you hope that we'll grow into making better choices.

I really do.

But I don't think so. Because I think that, while we have the POTENTIAL to be free human beings, most of us CHOOSE to be mere animals living in slavery. We rut, eat, smoke, and otherwise don't care about anything more about our lives- and get mad when our TV is turned off. *LOL*

Have you ever read Gustave Le Bon's famous work on mob psychology in the French Revolution, The Crowd?

Depressing- even for me.

While at times humans can transcend our animal limitations and be something more, many times we choose not to, ESPECIALLY when we're in a mob. And the internet, in many ways, is both a wonderful means of communication, but its also a way joining a crowd while also being so utterly alone.....

The ideal of Greece is gone, and we become more like Rome every day- where our input into the political system is to be processed for our 'vox populi'- votes bought and sold by the political patrician class. And our media?

Jacko is just another farce in our modern Colleseum. Soon we'll back to bloodsports.

And so it goes.

Your optimism gives me SOME hope, Wray- so thank you. But honestly...I don't know sometimes.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
The ideal of Greece is gone, and we become more like Rome every day- where our input into the political system is to be processed for our 'vox populi'- votes bought and sold by the political patrician class.


Doesn't this contradict your argument, in another thread, that if leaders fail to carry the day with the public on important issues, it must be their fault that they failed to lead sufficiently?
 
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