I have to start this post by stating that I do not have a grudge against TV news, newspapers, magazines or radio or the news casters – personalities, as they are now called. Despite what you have read in so many of my other post that paint a truthful, grim picture of today’s media.
As a matter of fact, broadcast news is needed and most notably, it is needed in parts of the world where there is no other information to the residents of small, improvised towns, provinces, or for that matter, the Antarctica where, yes you guessed it, there is a TV station.
No this post is directed towards the absolute bashing that the populace of the entire planet, bombarded twenty-four-seven with salivating reporters. Their ignorance and arrogance would make the likes of Homer Simpson’s character look like child’s play.
Are these reporters, journalist – personalities – people? Of course they are. They have families like any the rest of us, but after the fame sets in from being on television, they’re attitudes change as to say that the peasants that they serve are just that, mindless peasants – much like that of corrupt politicians. Peasants that are now supposed to serve the same person that mere months ago were standing in front of the camera crying, full of emotion, in gratitude for the former mere peasants support to make them what they have become. Not to mention the enormously bloated bank accounts that have now become part of the expectant contract.
In this post, I want to take a journey into why this new performance has completely dominated the minds of those that are supposed to be served and not be the servants.
As of 2008, (I’m sure this number is considerably higher in 2020) there are 73,798, TV and radio stations on this planet. This does not include an insurmountable number of repeater stations that co-exist to help further deliver the TV and radio station’s message.
The startling fact that given that there is 37,903,642.7261 square miles (148,939,856.27 square kilometers) of inhabitable land area on this planet, (excluding oceans, Antarctica, etc) it is alarming to note that there is a TV or radio station within 12.656413 feet (0.0038576746824 kilometer) of every single person on this planet.
The question now becomes, why is an entire populace of the planet so enthralled, frothing at the mouth with these “personalities,” as if to say that watching them on TV is more entertaining that watching a high budget movie from real movie stars (although I question that too now).
In 1982, a musician by the name of Don Henley produced a record album titled “I can’t stand still”. One of the most noted songs on that album was “Dirty Laundry,” a song about the absolute bombardment of the TV news’ consistent prying into the lives of everyone within their reach and sometimes making it in their reach.
The song was inspired by unscrupulous news people doing anything for a story and by the deaths of John Belushi and Natalie Wood. Many local news stations have at least one “bubble headed bleach blond”. The folks who work behind the scenes in local news are usually well aware of the superficial and vapid product they create, and many stations have used this song on their TV station blooper reels. Before YouTube, these local news bloopers lived on tapes tucked away in the dark corners of newsrooms. The song is about the callousness of TV news reporting as well as the tabloidization of all news. Henley sings from the standpoint of a news anchorman who “could have been an actor, but I wound up here,” and thus is not a real journalist. The song’s theme is that TV news coverage focuses too much on negative and sensationalist news; in particular, deaths, disasters, and scandals, with little regard to the consequences or for what is important – We all know that crap is king.
Looking back to the 1920’s and 30’s, we can see in history that everything was “fresh,” “new,” and exciting! It was a vibrant time in US history. New consumer things, discoveries were being developed or found daily and the news was there to bring it to your doorstep, where if you chose to read – or could afford, for that matter – the news paper or if you were one that was well to do, you could listen to the radio.
This was exciting to be able to know “what is going on” in the daily headlines, and it was the reporters job to find out as many facts as possible to bring to your attention that of which you the consumer of that news would find interesting.
Thinking back to the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, one can see and hear a reporter (Herbert Morrison) in tears as he watched a zeppelin explode, killing 36 passengers and 22 crewmen, only survived by Werner Doehner, age 8 at the time and cabin boy Werner Franz, age 14.
This was “real” news. It was a disaster. The event shattered public confidence in the giant passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship area. The same can be said for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that killed more than 3,000 people and destroyed 80% of San Francisco’s 46.87 square miles of land area (121.39274 square kilometers). These events were not only tragic, but were well worthy of news being produced to inform a world, giving the reader or radio listener the information they needed to attempt to contact loved ones and for others to mourn the loss of lives.
What these news reports were not. These news reports were not hyped-up sensationalized deaths, disasters, and scandals.
So why would a news corporation sensationalize deaths, disasters, and scandals?
The answer as you can imagine is money. You see, in order for a TV station to be built, it requires an enormous amount of money for TV antenna towers, cabling, broadcast equipment at the tower site and even more broadcast equipment at the TV station where the news is being produced in all of it’s glory. As well – and mentioned above – the contracts for these “personalities” is huge! Some of the bigger news networks are paying millions of dollars a year for a “bubble headed bleach blond” to sensationalize every drama word that can be conjured-up, writers furiously banging away at the keyboards are also paid a large salary to ensure that every single word evokes drama to the viewer.
But why? Again, the answer is money. Where does a TV station that has invested billions of dollars into equipment and staff get the money to keep operating. Advertisements. Advertisers are not going to pay a TV station much of anything if the TV station cannot sell what the advertiser is selling, especially if the advertiser is selling junk that they themselves cannot convince a public to buy.
This by far is not the only reason a TV or radio station has to sensationalize everything that is broadcast over the airwaves and or cable networks.
As of the last few decades, the news that is presented to the public has become nothing more or short of a daytime drama soap opera. As well, it has become by far less about news – called airtime stuffers – and much more about sensationalizing politicians. But why. You see, everybody has their favorite politician, (the one(s) they hope to make the world better) but it also has to do with the term “ol boy network”.
The ol boy network is where a group of people come together, slap hands, rub butts at lavish parties to discuss how they can keep a populace in check. With this, comes large amounts of money; corporate contracts are very often born at these parties as well. But there is also a stake involved. An investor might say to a news operator that he’ll give them billions in exchange for a stake in the company and new guidance, called a personal agenda.
In the same time frame, as to be expected, there was and still is an enormous influx of foreign money, (I won’t get into what countries are most entangled in our news outlets in this post) and a new set of “ideas” or wish list and influence into American politics.
Why? How else is a foreign government going to make money. Especially if the people from that country do not have the money needed to buy what the manufacturers are selling.
In closing. It is nothing short of a quiet invasion into the lives or the intended victim to sway them into thinking one way or the other, in exchange for a very large sum of money to the likes that 90% of the population on this planet could not visually understand.