Big Money, Big Media, Big Trouble

I know this is going to scare the living Hell out of you because the FIRST thing you will do is check to see how long this film is. How do I know that? Because I did the same thing, and everyone that was near me when I found out about this film did the exact same thing. So, you and I, and everyone else around me, are part of the problem.

This film really strikes home for me because about 11:25 in they talk about chronicling the Los Angeles local news market and found that during a typical newscast real news is given 22 seconds…..total. Local news is a critically important way of getting messages out, and real news for that matter, but we are so distracted by entertainment that the actual news is not only secondary it is almost nonexistent.
They also hit on the political debates and how essentially massive corporations, which we already knew about but still give free passes to, completely and utterly control the media.

One more classic line goes something like this…“Are these shows making us stupid.” “No, we started stupid.” Throw in blatant disregard for truth, lack of fact checking and disappearing journalistic standards and you have the perfect storm of stupidity. And guess what people, WE ARE IN THE BOAT.

Fact, truth and accountability need not apply. Watch and listen. And then, do something about it.

What am I doing? Well I just got rid of cable TV, in both locations where I live, which basically means I don’t have television. I went through brief withdrawl from the spinning things, ticker tapes, pounding informercials and political ads, but after a week or so I felt worlds better and was getting even more done. Television is a tremendous time suck, as bad or equal to the computer. Second, I try to entirely avoid any mainstream media feed. Networks, cable giants, etc, on the screen or online, and I try to avoid their advertisers, which is easier said than done. And under no circumstances do I get my political information or view from mainstream media. I realized a long time ago I could no longer rely on media for my news. Watching things like the second Gulf War unfold on the networks was sickening. I realized a long time ago I was probably NOT going to have the real story until the books began to emerge. When I say that I mean the books that ultimately emerge from a major story, and NOT those that come out three weeks later that are only meant to boost a particular journalists credibility or ego. I mean that books that come out a year or two down the line.

What sucks about all this is that I have a degree in photojournalism and know what good journalism has the power to do. There are STILL good folks out there, as they reference in the film, but with each passing day they seem to hold less power and less opportunity to get their work out in the powerful corporate world.

There is a FAINT spark of hope about all this, but the corporations are holding a bucket of frigid water and look primed to soak us all.

9 responses to “Big Money, Big Media, Big Trouble”

  1. Paul Romaniuk says:

    I’m with you on this. I haven’t watched tv news, or read a newspaper or news/entertainment magazine, or visited mainstream news websites for the past 8 years. They have nothing substantial to offer.

    • Smogranch says:

      Paul,

      Once you leave, take a break, and the go back you realize just how ridiculous the media has become. I’ve had people sit on my sofa watching LA news and say, “this can’t be the news.”

  2. LionelB says:

    I have a television but it gathers dust. At its height Picture Post garnered nearly two million readers for its mix of radical politics and glorious photographs. Its appeal went far beyond the “artistic elite”. People struggling with their own problems on low incomes bought it. People are not intrinsically different now – so there is hope – but they have become a little distracted by the enhanced opportunities to fill their lives with plastic junk.

  3. Chris Fuller says:

    Great post. When Soledad O’Brien interviewed women from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” it was irrefutable proof that CNN had jumped the Shark. “The Colbet Report” has more news analysis than any of the 24-hour news channels.

  4. Sean says:

    Watched it. It reminds me of this.

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