Bad PR 112: #CNNBlackmail and Journalistic Ethics Going to Die

Listening to the news anymore can be an exercise in patience.  Trust me, I get it.  I got my degree in journalism.  Which I am not using in any productive way now, getting yelled at in a call center.  Doesn’t my life sound great?  However, as I watch this field that I once wanted to pursue as a career deteriorate around me, I can’t help but see some of the most recent incidents as sad reminders of what a shallow grave this profession is digging.  If you want to see why, look no further than the most recent fuck-up by CNN.  This is bad PR nirvana.  I could go on for hours about how bad this looks.

Some kid on Reddit, and it has been verified to be a kid of 15 years of age, decided to do a little trolling on The Donald subreddit and create a video image from WWF when Donald Trump kicked Vince McMahon’s ass, putting a CNN logo over McMahon’s face.  Is it immature?  Sure.  Do I care?  Nope.  Not even a little.  It is kinda funny.  I don’t even like Trump and I find it funny.  A stupid, intentionally-juvenile video clip made to troll CNN.  To normal people online it would have begun and ended there.  Except Trump found it as it was getting shared around and liked it.  So he shared it.  Well, as you can imagine, in the world of professional outrage, this act had to have some deliberately-stupid consequences.  Because a professional organization like CNN couldn’t show that they are the bigger people and display a little maturity.  No, that’s asking WAY too much.

Like CNN finding out about this and getting their dander up.  They claimed that Trump was threatening them with violence, and how that is completely inappropriate.  Then, when the kid who made the GIF came forward to them, they, in no uncertain terms, made very clear that if he does anything that they don’t like, they are going to publish all his personal information online.  Don’t believe me?  Here, see for yourself.

CNN just came out and said that if this underage kid does anything that they don’t like in the future, they are going to dox him.  They are fucking threatening a teenager with destroying his life if he does anything that they disapprove of now or in the future.  That’s…unbelievably stupid.  This is a crime.  A news outlet that claims to be about journalism has just published a story where they outright say that this kid could have all his personal information put online by them.  Maybe Ben Kuchera and Jim Sterling should work for this company.  Both of them support doxing too.  Maybe get Anita Sarkeesian and Rebecca Watson in on the fun.  Why not?  After all, if you can’t destroy the life of someone who made a GIF mocking your ethically-vapid news outlet, what can you do?

This is such a step in the wrong direction for this news outlet.  In a time when the regular news is going the way of Myspace, for this company to choose to get all butthurt and go at CNN this hard just blows my goddamn mind.  This kid did NOTHING wrong, CNN!  Not one goddamn thing!  But because he made you look kind of silly in a GIF that signifies absolutely nothing (but they will swear up and down in a secret threat), you had to go at him this hard?!  What the fuck is wrong with you!?

And hey, let’s not have CNN have all the fun.  Another intellectually-void publication decided that they wanted to get in the spirit of things too – Salon.  Take a look.

No, Salon, CNN is not the good guy here.  They are forcing someone to do what they want, and if that person doesn’t do that, then they will use something they are holding over their head against them.  That’s called “blackmail.”  Huh, I wonder if that’s a crime.  Well, it turns out there is a rather fascinating debate on the matter.  Here’s a link to that debate.  Makes me wonder what would happen if that kid decided to take CNN to court.  I sure as hell would.  Or that kid’s parents.  If someone threatens my child with doxing if he doesn’t do what they want, and it’s a professional organization like CNN, all for making a GIF, I would have my lawyer on the phone that day and the filing of a lawsuit the next.  After all, thanks to the wonderful people of the Internet, this action is never going to leave.  Ever.  For the rest of their time as a “news” outlet, CNN will have this sort of press following them around.

Here’s the PR lesson I have to teach – I cannot possibly imagine a worse look than this.  Their entire professional image is destroyed.  They got so butthurt about someone mocking them that they went out of their way to find out who it was and now holds their identity hostage unless this kid does what they want.  How do you spin that to look good?!  I honestly am trying to think of a way.  Nothing’s coming to me.  All their talk about how they are the good guys, and Trump is the bad guy for attacking them and making them look bad, now they do shit like this.  They might as well just put Jerry Springer on their network and flush all their ethical integrity down the fucking toilet.  Hey, Anderson Cooper, are you proud of the network that has your name associated with it?  Hey, Wolf Blitzer, what about you?  Jack Cafferty?  Any of the talking heads on that station?

When you reach a point that your image is synonymous with this level of incompetence, when you have reporters being fired because they got busted faking a story about Russia hacking the election, when the first thing that people see when they look you up is this tire fire that you started, it might be time to throw in the towel as a news network.  Just put on some trash programming about women fighting in Wal-Mart’s parking lot and you can join UPN in the garbage bin of networks that had potential and flushed it all away.

How pathetic.  How utterly, unbelievably, unethically pathetic.

Until next time, a quote,

“There is no better test of a man’s integrity than his behavior when he’s wrong.” – Marvin Williams

Peace out,

Maverick

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My Fellow Liberals, Stop Antagonizing Russia!

There’s probably the greatest quote ever spoken from George Santaya, “those who cannot remember the past a condemned to repeat it.”  More and more, this quote is making me feel an overwhelming urge to smack my head into a wall as I watch the media of every stripe going out of their way to antagonize Russia over alleged (it has not, under any circumstances been proven) hacking that they did of the DNC that was sent to WikiLeaks.  And the more I watch the media and the saber-rattling that them and President Obama are doing, the more fearful I become that the past will come back.  Only next time, it won’t be a cold war, it will be a hot war.  One where the next war is fought with sticks.

If, for no other reason, I am glad that Trump won, it’s because he was immediately able to settle people’s worries about World War III.  Listening to Hillary talk about how she was going to be taking offensive action in Syria with a no-fly zone, that scared the hell out of me.  All of the saber-rattling after the leaked documents sent to WikiLeaks that exposed that corporate money-whore for who she is.  In reality, if it truly was Russia who leaked that info, I want to thank them.  If the Fourth Estate was doing its fucking job, we wouldn’t have needed Russia to leak documents.  They would have been stepping up and exposing Hillary for what she is, instead of doing everything in their power to polish her knob.  For my take, even if Russia was responsible (there has been NO conclusive evidence), we should be thanking them.  Given what the Hillary’s knob-polishing media is trying to provoke, all of what has been said about the media’s collusion with her has been vindicated.

I guess that people are too young to remember that there was a time where the threat of nuclear war was a real thing with Russia.  It was a thing that my parents generation lived in constant fear of.  Two nuclear-equipped superpowers going to war, it would have been the end of life as they knew it.  There were so many close calls, and it was only thanks to cooler heads prevailing at just the right moments that two nations didn’t destroy life on this planet.  How I wish that my generation wasn’t full of dumb fucks.  Or corporate shill media that will do anything to kiss the ass of the person that they supported.

However, I am going to try and be the voice of reason here.  My fellow left-leaning people, the antagonization of Russia needs to stop.  Not only does this make your side of the political fence look like butthurt little bitches, but it is toying with disaster.  Think of what would have happened if Hillary had won the Presidential campaign.  Given what a vindictive bitch she is, you just know that she would have put her pantsuit boot down on the situation in Syria.  We’ve been fighting a proxy war in that country against Russia for years.  It’s been a powderkeg that looked to blow up at any minute.  But Trump immediately started talking to scale that back.  Thank Groj.  I honestly can say that the only time I have ever been afraid for my nation’s future was right then.

As for the liberals who want to be mad about the hacking, keep this in mind – nothing that was released has been shown to be doctored.  None of it.  Glen Greenwald did a fantastic article ripping the people who are butthurt about this and their pathetic attempts to defend Hillary to pieces.  Hillary Clinton was a shill, who used every single tool she possibly had, media collusion, and her entire party’s backing to destroy Bernie.  It was stuff people already suspected it, but WikiLeaks proved it.  Then there was the release of the speech transcripts that everyone was asking for.  Once-again, everyone already knew that they were a love letter to Wall Street, but now we had definitive proof.  No wonder Hillary couldn’t show her face election night.  Her own corruption destroyed her.  If anything, all the media’s attacking Russia looks like is them attempting to cover for their own transgressions.  How about we not do that?

In the meantime, let’s dial back the calls for retaliation against Russia.  One guy on CNN actually said that “cyber war is the same as real war.”  That fucking imbecile was actually believing that we should respond to this unproven allegation that Russia aided Trump with military force.  The very idea scares the fuck out of me.  It’s an opinion from a person who never has had to fear for their future.  The statement of a person who didn’t live through a generation where nuclear annihilation was a very real threat.

But hey, the media has to cover their ass somehow.  Might as well blame Russia.  World War III?  Price you pay to not have to eat crow and admit their mistakes.

Until next time, a quote,

“Yeah, let’s try that.  Then the next war really will be fought with sticks.” – Punished “Venom” Snake, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Peace out,

Maverick

The Flaw in Analysis of Last Night’s Debate

Something to know about what has been happening the past year – Bernie Sanders has been routinely ignored by the media at large.  It is almost surreal how corporate media is doing everything in their power to pretend like he doesn’t exist.  But the crowds that he has been drawing at every event say that the people are not fooled by it.  In fact, his strength as a populist candidate should scare Shillary Clinton right down to her pantsuits.  Neat fact – someone made an image of her in every color pantsuit of the rainbow and put them in order of the visible light spectrum.  To that person, you have my thanks.  Look it up.  It’s kind of hilarious.  In fact, let me save you the trouble.  Enjoy the lulz.

Shillary Pantsuit RainbowWhat wonderful people we have in this world.  In any case, back to the topic at hand.  Bernie Sanders has been the victim of a concerted effort to be kept out of the eyes of the corporate media.  Or at the very least be made to appear to be not even remotely a threat to one of the most boring and corporate candidates that I’ve ever seen.  Shillary’s biggest problem is that she clearly stands for nothing other than being President and getting corporate money.  It’s kind of sad to watch.

Last night’s debate, if you follow every single corporate outlet, was the defining moment of Shillary Clinton’s victory, which is so obviously guaranteed.  Right?  Well, the truth is a little more complicated than that.  See, according to every single outlet that isn’t corporate media, Bernie Sanders won that debate by leaps and bounds.  Don’t believe me?  Here is a story that shows how polls conducted on every site, even CNN, favored Sanders.

There is a real question – why does every news outlet seem to want to make sure we all know that Shillary is absolutely in the lead, without question?  It’s almost like they are afraid to admit that Bernie is a real threat to her.  It can’t be argued at this point that that’s the case.  Unlike her, Bernie is actually popular because of the fact that he stands for things, and he stays on point, all the time.  If you ask me, the fact that the media seems so dead-set on ignoring Bernie is only working out in his favor.  See, we live in the age of the Internet.  Being a populist candidate is easier now than ever.  The media seems to forget about that.  Maybe it’s because the media has been doing everything they can to pretend that the Internet and the culture that it espouses doesn’t exist.

After all, why would CNN tell the truth about Sanders?  Their parent company is Time Warner.  They are one of Shillary’s top contributors.  Naturally they are going to do everything they can to kiss her pantsuited ass.  But why is every single publication so dead-set against Sanders?  Naturally, The Guardian has to make sure that they kiss Shillary’s ass.  That publication has ZERO journalistic integrity.  It is just so strange that every publication and its brother is looking to abandon their journalistic integrity just so they can support a candidate that not ONE poll has shown to be in the lead.  The Drudge Report, a publication that hates the left, had a poll with Sanders clearly in the lead.  When all evidence shows that the conclusion you have come to is wrong, does journalistic ethics mean nothing?  It’s about taking in the evidence and reporting it.  What did it look like in the editing room when they were drafting these stories?  I shudder to think.

This isn’t really a post about the debate.  It’s more about how the news is so fast to throw away what little ethics they have in order to paint a narrative that all objective evidence shows isn’t true.  Is there any line that the media is unwilling to cross in order to push a narrative?  What has modern journalism come to?  Hell, The Young Turks, a group who is unabashedly biased in the extreme, was baffled by the fact that none of these outlets seem able to report the plain as day facts of this story.

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, it should bother us all that the news seems to not even try doing the right thing.  But not all major news outlets were this bad.  After the debate, PBS reported on the winner by just having the poll be the story.  Now that is how it’s done.  Regardless of what the pundits think, the facts speak for themselves.  Take that for what you will.  As for me, this is why I didn’t focus on the journalism side of my degree in Journalism and Public Communication.  Because I didn’t want to get sucked into this nightmare of ignoring facts to make a narrative.  I already have a site where I admit that I inject my own opinion into, but I don’t ignore when facts get in the way of my opinions.

In the end, though, Bernie is still riding high.  The base supports him.  That’s something that really should scare Shillary.  After all, during the first debate with Obama, the media was quick to support her then as well.  Look at how that turned out.  As for myself, I think that while Bernie did good, that debate did show his age a bit.  That guy needed some coffee or something.  He is a dinosaur, after all.  I suppose this should be expected.  But the campaign is far from over, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Until next time, a quote,

“All I can hope to teach my son is to tell the truth and fear no man.”  -Edward R. Murrow

Peace out,

Maverick

No Industry is Above Corruption (A Response to Gaming Journalism)

There was a time not too long ago that I used to very avidly watch MSNBC and CNN to take in news.  I would follow The New York Times and other news groups, but those people seemed to be my favorites.  I was young and naive and was just going to college in the Journalism and Public Communication program and didn’t truly understand just how corrupt modern news had become.  However, the moment a person truly starts to get informed, the more you realize just how fucked up it all is.  Now, I almost never even tune in to them.  If I want to know what the 24-hour info-tainment networks are saying, I just watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.  It’s become so blatantly clear how corrupt the media industry is.  The fall of modern news isn’t because of the Internet exclusively.  It’s because of how clear it has become that they are pandering to whoever can give them money, and the act of honest journalism has gone right out the fucking door.

Now I get all my news from The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Frontline, The Young Turks, SourceFed and several other independent sources.  Are they perfect?  No.  But they make no secret of their bias, and they actually do try and report things in a manner of not just soundbytes, but also discussion and looking critically at things.

You’d think, with all the blatant corruption I saw in one industry, and have railed about all over the country, that I would have learned my lesson when it came to corruption in an industry.  But with online journalism, it just felt like this would be more honest.  We would be the people who are telling the story.  We wouldn’t have the filters or systems of the corporate news.  This would be straight-up truth, yo!  Very quickly, though, I realized the truth – that online journalism is just as corrupt as the rest, and it is killing this industry and its credibility as well.  For my example, I am going to use gaming journalism, because seeing some of this corruption has been awe-inspiring.

There are some of the more obvious examples, such as the now-infamous video of Geoff Keighley and his blank stare as he sat in front of a backdrop that had a Halo 4 cut-out, alongside Doritos and Mountain Dew: Code Red, while he talked about how gamers can buy these products before playing the game.  Such blatant corporate nepotism that was absolutely unapologetic.  For real, he didn’t give a fuck about how much of a sell-out he looked like.  This kind of corporate favoritism is nothing new.  It’s kind of telling that in that same video, he tells other people to get into gaming journalism.

We also have the new trend of sites like Kotaku and pretty much every major gaming publication that has been carrying the line more and more for women like Anita Sarkeesian and her brand of “feminist gamers,” using the Tumblr lingo and the same professional-victim mentality that has made so many gamers annoyed to tears.  And of course, they have to talk all the time about rape threats, how there are too many men in games, how sexist it all is against women (a contention that has NEVER been proven, right Anita?) and how video games are normalizing rape and whatnot.  Ridiculous arguments that have never been proven.  Ever.  But this is more and more starting to become accepted by the gaming journalism industry.

However, a story has come to my attention recently from a YouTube vlogger who I follow about a woman named Zoe Quinn.  Here is his video in its entirety, if you are of a mind to watch.  It goes into much more detail than I intend to.  Zoe Quinn is an Indie developer who recently had what should have been quite a story about her come to light.  Instead, the story has been unreported by a vast amount of gaming journalism.  See, it all began with a WordPress article by a man she was dating.  He wrote a frankly-massive post about why the relationship didn’t work out.  One of the reasons was infidelity.  That seems like a good reason for a relationship to go south, but why should we care?  After all, it’s between the two of them, right?  Sure, absolutely.  It would be, except for one tiny detail – the people in question were five guys.  She was sleeping with five guys, and then, miraculously, a lot of things start going right for her.  Well ain’t that a coincidink?

Not only was she fucking her boss at one time (who is a married man), but she was also fucking indie developers who ended up shilling her game for her.  Even worse, a man who wrote a review of her game was another of the five guys that she was fucking.  He wrote a review for her game, even though they were casually having sex?  Really?!  That doesn’t strike you as the least bit unethical?  I can’t believe that.  For real, I don’t.  I don’t believe that you didn’t have some part of you, if you have any journalistic integrity at all, that didn’t think that promoting the game of a woman you are having sex with was wrong.  That’s just nuts.  What’s more, he went on to promote her on an article on Kotaku and Rock, Paper, Shotgun.  The lack of integrity just bleeds off the page, doesn’t it?

Quinn didn’t stop at just fucking to get herself ahead.  A subreddit called TumblrinAction had a story from an Indie developer who had a contest where women could pitch game ideas, they would do concept art for them, put it up online and have people vote on it.  Whoever got the most votes would have the game made for them, for free, and the proceeds would go to charity.  That sounds like a great cause, right?  Not to mention very nice for all the women like Anita Sarkeesian, who go on and on about how women are not in this industry.  Quinn decided to start a Twitter shitstorm and went after this group, even to the point of doxxing the head of it, because she considered it “oppressive.”  Why did she do this?  Well, they offered to make the game she pitched.  She did it so that she could get what she wanted, using her FWBs and Twitter and Tumblr feminist pals to put the heat on people who could do her dirty work for her.  She says that the idea for the contest is offensive, never clarifying and then being offered money for consulting work on future projects.  Ain’t that a sweet deal?

So, let’s recap – Zoe Quinn has fucked her boss.  She fucked Indie developers and even fucked the man who did a very positive review of her game, “Depression Quest.”  She goes after a company trying to do a good thing, doxx’s them, fucks up what they were trying to do for reasons that she NEVER makes clear, and uses her sexual connections to block the story getting out.  This is the kind of person she is, but that isn’t what bugs me.  For real, if she wants to fuck and manipulate her way to the top, go right ahead.  You aren’t the first to do it, and you won’t be the last (and before anyone says that I’m generalizing women, because of the stereotype that women do this, don’t think that guys are immune.  It goes both ways).

What bugs me is that this is what the gaming journalism industry considers acceptable.  This kind of blatant corruption is considered par for the course, from Geoff Keighley selling Doritos and Mountain Dew in his video about Halo 4 and gaming journalism, the GMAs and their blatant corporate pandering, to this woman and her unethical path to success.  It all shows that this industry is broken, and the people who are getting the worst of it are the gamers themselves.  We can’t trust the reviews and the journalism that we’re getting.  These people have an obligation to report what is important and to protect consumers from bad games.  Instead, bribes, kick-backs and dirty backroom sex games are now coming to light.  Is this what we want gaming journalism to be?

This is the Internet, people!  We can let our voices be heard when it comes to things like this, and we should.  Because at the end of the day, either we stand up for ethical reporting, or we just accept that it’s all just about who is paying or fucking who, and ethical integrity means nothing.  As for me, if they choose to come after some small-time blogger on WordPress, I won’t respond.  I won’t get into some Twitter flame war.  Go ahead and insult me all you want.  Because insulting me means that you have no argument for your unethical behavior.  And that, good sirs and madams, is telling indeed.

Although, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  After all, if I learned anything from the amazingly-insightful film “Thank You For Smoking,” it’s that this kind of behavior is nothing new, to any industry.

Until next time, a quote,

“We have now reached a point where it has become blatantly obvious in. gaming journalism where relationships are influencing what gets published and what doesn’t.  It is no longer about reporting or journalistic integrity.  It is about who is fucking who and who profits from it.”  -Internet Aristocrat

Peace out,

Maverick

So, Murder is How it is? (A Response to Bill O’Reilly)

You’ll notice that I have never really gone after Fox News or any of the major networks in these responses that I do.  Not a lot of point, really.  Fox News is about as big a pandering machine as it gets.  A favorite YouTuber of mine, Mykeru, did a really great analogy for it where he described how modern cable news networks work.

It works like this – say you have a dirt road.  The road goes nowhere and nothing of significance has happened on that road since the time it took to lay down a half-foot of windblown dust.  Now, stick a box on the side of the road.  There’s nothing special about it, it’s just a box.  A casual observer, were there one, might wonder – what’s in the box?  Maybe there’s money or dope, puppies or kittens.  If it was owned by Gretta Christina, there could be some old prescription fluvox.  More likely, the box, like most discarded things, is simply empty.  A reasonable guess as to what’s in the box would range from nothing bad to nothing at all.
Now, bring in a cable news team and their army of professional douchebags and that otherwise-innocuous box will take on a decidedly-ominous cast.  A photogenic blonde hand-puppet can talk about what, if any, potential threat the shoebox represents to you and yours and what can be done about it, because dammit, something should be done about it!  Hours of non-important space between all-important advertisements can be filled with clucking and braying Hollywood squares of ‘reliable’ talking heads who, with the utter conviction of people who have no idea what they’re talking about, whose expertise is based entirely on having seen a shoebox once without knowing that they, occasionally contain shoes, can take a hardline against those godless, life-hating bastards who let people threaten us by leaving shoeboxes on the side of the road.  This can go on for hours of cheap, content-free television.  The point is to create an inclusive, safe-space where people who count, by virtue of being on television, can feel free to completely lose their shit over nothing without fear of contradiction.  And where they can all join together in worst-case scenario solidarity like a clenched asshole expecting the worst.
By the time someone figures out that there was nothing in the box and before anyone can actually learn something from it, they’ve all moved on to the next big important thing, such as the anal bleaching among silicon-based lifeforms.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  This is why I don’t really watch MSNBC, CNN or Fox News anymore.  They are all whores who are sucking at the tit of tragedy for those all-important ratings.  I have no doubt that the people who pander the fear-messages to people who aren’t smart enough to think for themselves.  I’m a douchebag liberal, but I have no love for MSNBC because not ONE of those networks are innocent of this crime.  They are all guilty, fuck them and fuck the horse they rode in on.

However, in the wake of the shooting in California, the latest of the many mass-shootings in this country, Jon Stewart pointed out something rather terrifying – that we have moved on from being outraged and confused about these shootings.  Now, especially on Fox News, there seems to be a new trend.  He used a metaphor that works very well – the 5 stages of dying.  Anyone care to guess which stage were on?

For those who already know where this is going, the stage is acceptance.  That’s right, according to Fox News and Bill O’Reilly, we should just accept that these tragedies are always going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.  Better to just go with it and try and do nothing.  Before anyone says that I am about to advocate banning guns, I’m not.  Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE it if we had stricter gun ownership legislation, such as gun registration and whatnot.  But outright banning guns would not work.  I’m against that because we would just be creating another black market.

But there is a part of me that just doesn’t get this.  We should just accept that mass murder is a fact of life?  You know, if America had FAR more respect for the mental healthcare of the people in this country and actually tried to help the mentally unstable, I might be relatively on board.  After all, a lot like suicide, there are just some people who you can never see it coming from.  You do the best you can, but you can’t save everyone.  However, that is other countries.  America has among the worst mental health care of the entire world.  There was this graphic that I saw the other day that made a great point about if we treated physical illness like mental illness in this country.  We berate and belittle the people who are mentally unwell, choosing to treat them like they are stupid or lazy.  If we actually would make the effort to reach out and help the people who need it most, just imagine what a world it would be!

Bill, I get why you want to accept that mass murder is just going to happen.  After all, when has your rich and lazy ass ever been in harm’s way?  For real, when was the last time that you actually were in real danger?  When you got a papercut?  Maybe some food poisoning.  Naturally, you and the rest of the parasites who are leeching on the tit of tragedy are done, you could actually talk to your old, white and achingly-stupid audience about the real problems.  Oh, wait, can’t do that.  That would require them to think.  Thinking isn’t good.  If they learn to think for themselves, then they won’t watch your stupid shit anymore.

Can’t have that, can we?

Until next time, a quote,

“No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!”  -The Frenchman, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Peace out,

Maverick

CNN, Steubenville and How Awful Humanity and the News Really Is

Does anyone remember the imprisonment of Jerry Sandusky?  Well, after that whole affair, there was this comic that got rather famous, where you see Sandusky in jail, along with a giant guy who says, “Hey, I’m the tickle monster.”  The implication being that this man is going to rape Sandusky.  And wouldn’t you know it, people just loved that comic!  It got so many thumbs-up or what-have-you wherever it was posted.  And all the people’s comments talking about how Sandusky should get horrible raped and beaten repeatedly got tons of thumb-ups on them as well.  It seems that we all like the idea of a man being horrible raped and beaten.

Now let’s look at the news footage following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  The media did as they always do following these events.  They tore into the shooter’s personal life.  The victims?  They got a couple of blurbs.  But after that, they went right into talking about the shooter.  It seemed that America needed to know every single thing about the shooter.  What his likes were, what his hobbies were, who his friends were, everything.  We all wanted to know everything about this guy.  If you were paying even a modicum of attention, then you noticed that a lot of this reporting sounded like celebrity gossip.  That is REALLY disturbing, ladies and gentlemen.  And the worst part is that this kind of reporting has happened before.  A lot.  It was the same after Columbine, Virginia Tech and the Oklahoma City bombing.  This is a trend that gets these networks views.  Lots of views.

But now we come to CNN, and the recent scandal following something they reported about a horrific rape that happened in Steubenville, Ohio.  The reason that this story is making so many waves among the internet is because, if you check out the link I put above, you will see that the story is pretty much defending the rapists.  For real, the story is lamenting that this conviction of young football players, who raped a teenage girl, is going to ruin their lives, along with their family’s reputations.  Take a moment.  Let that sink in.  A news outlet didn’t lament what happened to this girl.  Instead, it had a guest on who is sad that this rape conviction is going to damage the reputation of future of the rapists.  What the fuck?!  Yeah, there is only one conclusion that a person can come to after seeing that – CNN is pure evil.  I mean, they make hardly any mention of the victim, and focus almost exclusively on the rapists, from the perspective of – isn’t what happened to them so sad?

But you know what, to me, this is a symbol.  It’s a symbol of what is truly wrong with this species, and especially America.  See, this story is cruel in a way that is mind-boggling, but the reason it is taking so much heat is because it is cruel in a way that makes us look harshly on ourselves.  Meanwhile, we absolutely LOVE to watch cruelty that is to other people.

There are almost an endless list of reality shows that exploiting people who aren’t smart enough to know better.  Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Bridezilla, and the list goes on and on and on.  These shows find the biggest assholes they possibly can and air out their dirty laundry to the rest of the country, for the express purpose of people enjoying it and mocking these people.  Then there are shows that spit in the face of what America says.  Shows like Pawn Stars.  This show, for the most part, is glorifying money lenders.  America calls itself a “Christian nation,” yet we are totally behind a show that makes money lenders look good.  I’m sure that Jesus would just LOVE to see that show, wouldn’t you?  Oh, wait, the Christian religion as a whole has been spitting on what Jesus said for as long as the Catholic church has existed.  You know, that whole thing about Jesus preaching about living in poverty and giving everything you have to the poor, while looking out for your fellow man.  Yeah, the opulent palaces that we call churches don’t reflect too well on their beliefs, do they?

While we’re on the subject of watching cruelty, let’s look at the world of UFC fighting.  This is taking the boxing gloves away (which is a sport that is the lesser-version of where this is going) and gives people carte-blanche to beat the shit out of each other.  The people who watch this don’t watch to see skill and tactics.  No, they are watching to see two people brutalize each other.  How exactly were the Romans worse than us?  I mean, they had people kill each other in the ring, but let’s be honest – there are a lot of people who are hoping for that to be the result with these sports.  And then there is NASCAR, which is pretty much just the Roman chariot races with seat-belts.  For real, the people who watch that shit watch for the crashes.  It’s the absolute truth.

But the thing that’s funniest to me about this whole pathetic thing is that when you see the news networks coverage of this affair, it shows you that this is the reason why the networks aren’t able to cover anything of actual emotional complexity.  They don’t know where to sympathize.  If these people had been around following the fall of the Berlin Wall, they probably would have been sad that the wall had to be destroyed.  If they had been there following the end of World War II, they probably would have been upset that the Nazis weren’t getting a fair shake.  If CNN had been around following the Civil War, they probably would have been sad that the slaves were being freed.  These people just don’t know how to look at things that are emotionally complicated, because they have no empathy.  They fake feeling sad, because they honestly can’t feel sad.  They go through the motions, because they want a quick buck.

This story wasn’t focused on actual people.  No, this story was for parents who think their douchebag kid is going to grow up to be a rapist.  It was cheap pandering for the sake of making money from people who are afraid.  Fear has become the absolute narrative of modern media.  But at the end of the day, this is who we are.

America, I’m going to give it to you straight – you are an amoral monster who tries so hard to believe that you have actual morals that some part of me thinks that you have convinced yourselves that it’s true.  You say that you believe in God, while you spit in the face of his teachings that you don’t want to actually listen to.  You merely want to believe it because it feels good.  You like to be pandered to, indulgent, complacent and stupid as fuck.  And when your complacency is no longer sustainable, when you have to get off your fat and stupid ass and actually give a shit about what is happening in this world, there is NO god who is going to be here to help you.  You’ll only have each other.  Alas, that won’t get you far.

Fuck you, America.  Fuck. You.

Until next time, a quote,

“Traditional media takes one small step away from moral sanity, and one giant leap away from cultural relevancy.”  -TJ Kirk

Peace out,

Maverick

I Picked the Wrong Effing Major

So, I am a journalism and public communications major.  I am really starting to regret having picked this major, because honestly, looking at it critically, I am probably going to be one of the millions of Americans who are barely scraping by.  I am probably going to be one of those people who can barely manage to keep it together, payingo ff my college debts, because I don’t make hardly any money, if any at all.  My field is rapidly dying, and the online market, which is where I am working to expand in, is nothing but pennies in the bucket to the written market, which is dying fast.

I have always been good at anything that I have set my mind too, but skill really doesn’t matter in this country anymore.  Greed, deviousness, and cleverness get you infinitely further than skill.  Emotional intelligence plays a role as well.  It has been determined that a person who has vast amounts of emotional intelligence is more likely to do well financially than any other area that can be determined on a standard IQ test.  I do have a lot of that.  I inherited that feature from Sally.  But in the end, if I can’t find any open doors, what is the point?  Living in Alaska doesn’t help.  The print journalism field is dead, absolutely dead.  A professor here at UAA, Edgar Blatchford, is trying to bring two newspapers back.  I wish him luck.  If he can’t make them big on local issues, his newspaper will go down in flames.  Both of them will.  It is an unpleasant thing anymore.

With online journalism becoming the hub for the new generation, why would people want to wait for a newspaper to tell them what NPR, PBS, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox can tell them instantly online?  It is the Catch-22 that The New York Times, The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other big-time newspapers that are still faring well are facing.  Charging for stories is one avenue.  NYT did it, and they are doing well because people are paying.  That is a newspaper that has a reputation for being good, so people will pay for what they can get.  However, for small-town guys like me, the chances aren’t great to get into a good job.

Plus, most of what I like to do is to examine politics.  Now, I don’t agree that there is such a thing as “objective” or “straight” journalism.  I am with Keith Olbermann, Bill Moyers, and Edward R. Murrow on this.  It is literally impossible not to have a bias.  And all those who say that guys like Murrow, Koppel, and Cronkite never had any bias.  They had plenty.  They went out of their way to report the things that they believed needed to be reported on, and they were rightly lionized for being good reporters, but they weren’t afraid to say the things that needed to be said.  But it is good that we are having this debate.  But for me, I don’t mind injecting some opinion into things.  My belief as a reporter is that if you present as much information as you can, you have your own opinion and say what it is.  Since you’ve given information, let the public decide what they believe.  If we had a smarter public, that might just be a very good option.  As it stands, America has an unbelievably stupid public that is kept stupid by the fact that the corporate media doesn’t give as much info as possible.

But the field that I have chosen is oddly dead.  I am starting to think that maybe it was a mistake to pick this major.  But I can’t help it.  I love this stuff. I live for this stuff.  Looking at the political and cultural issues, as many as I can, and being part of the discussion is part of what keeps me whole as a person.  I believe that people who hate politics don’t seem to understand that this is stuff that affects your future.  I am a misanthrope, I hate this and the people who are a part of it, but I keep watching because honestly, I don’t think we have another choice.  I have to know what is going on.  We all do, because when the public stops caring, when all opinion is heading in one direction or ignored, that is when it will feel like fascism to me.

In any case, I may not be able to do anything with this.  I wish I could get some advertisers to my blog, either this one or my professional blog.  That would be a good start.  The inevitable goal would be to find a platform where I could talk about the things that I have interest in, and find a way to make money doing it.  Talking is overrated to some, but to me, discussion is an absolute must for any society to function.  And so there must be a place for one such as myself.  It must be a rational discussion.  This discussion must not be just two or more people screaming at each other.  Another part of the problem in modern discourse is that most of what we talk about is nothing more than a ballet of people who are screaming at one-another.  So, when I say that people like Bill O’Reilly are what is wrong with this country, I am talking about the fact that these people are part of a system of people who will lie and not admit it.  NPR, PBS, BBC, and several other areas of media are able to do what I believe works – talk about the issues that matter, and do so in a rational manner that allows others to disagree.

So, I think I may have picked the wrong major, not because of a values or what I want, but because making money does come first.  Bummer, but that is how it is.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t know if what I am doing is right.  I am trying.  I have to, because whatever that was before, we have to fix it!”  -Keith Olberman, Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Peace out,

Maverick