LIONEL PODCAST: Why Mainstream Media News Can’t Recognize Their Own Extinction

Let’s start with the abecedarian: The current crop of mainstream network media news robots are simply idiots. Is that limpid enough? I should stop right there as the clarity of message won’t improve. But I shan’t. It’s critical that you grasp this. And understand that this is not a toothless indictment. I’m dead serious. James S. Ettema and Theodore L. Glasser called investigative journalism “custodians of conscience.” they likened it to social and moral inquiry and public virtue. I remind you of such because there was a time before selfies and narcissistic self-adoration. If there’s any hope it’s for local news because the subject matter is so directed: fires, arrests, crime, weather, sports. Though I’ve never quite understood the concept of traffic reportage on television. Think about it. (But not for long.)

I don’t care about the news, I care about being a star. Newsrooms and outfits are jammed with media star wannabes. Distracted and disjointed alleged and putative news gatherers, biased and partisan apparatchiks skewing and narrowcasting – not journalists or reporters but would-be stars and viral hitster hipsters. The next entrant in the hottest reporter contest, the red carpet traipser. Just look at Brian Williams’s own foray into celebrity adoration. I’ve no proof, but I suspect that if the truth be known, Ol’ BW would rather sit on Fallon’s couch than behind the desk waxing stentorian as he reads the prompter.

It’s not a matter of youth per se but chronic inexperience and no perspective. Sure, there are newser tyros who’ve no perspective but it’s not about youth and inexperience. Not to mention no history, no knowledge, no idea of the cyclical phenomenon of news and world affairs. They’re organically incurious and without the ability to be suspect, proudly so at that. They’ve become the conduit for administrations, de facto press agents. Repeaters and not reporters. Presstitutes, as the great Gerald Celente offers, their hearts and limited minds available to the highest bidder. Slow on the draw, quick to the conclusion. Obama acolytes and fawning sycophants, many are. Boot lickers and toadies. Obsequious lickspittles. Still walking zombified with “Hope and Change” reverberating in their memory sticks. Part and parcel of the insane left-right paradigm, followers of the notion that there are significant differences between parties. Still arguing at the internecine, interstitial level.

Retreads, resurrected, recycled museum pieces just entered the building. And the executive and management level of network news appears to be no better. Let’s really focus the gravamen of this indictment accordingly. Concerned and focused on the bottom line. P/L versus MOS. Especially in a shrinking media world. Shuttered newsrooms, budgets slashed, resources crippled. Make it fast and cheap. Dangle the keys in front of the screaming infant. Many of these pathetic news stewards retreads are recycled and regurgitated escapees of media from eons of yore. Those who cut their teeth at a time when media news reportage was considered rarefied and noble, victims of their own deluded unwarranted entitlement and chichi pretentiousness. These are dinosaurs more often than not who actually still believe that the days of cautious, crafted and paralyzing boring news presentation will fly today. And it’s not just TV news but the antediluvian world of terrestrial left-right talk radio — but that’s for another day.

The new breed of witless. And if the antediluvian codger’s not bad enough, enter the “rising star,” the prototypical know-nothing who made her bones in another medium that someone figured would perfectly merge into news. Or the ex-intern who made friends and was first on the list for hires do to a sparkling personality or per stirpes consanguinity with a higher-up. The yoga mat totin’ pseudo-intellect and autodidact (at best) who breaks the record for pretentiousness and throws an errant Ayn Rand quote about and conspicuously carries the latest Economist under her arm. Bogus, ersatz and fictive. And what do these two prototypes have in common? Plenty. They’re clueless.

New and alternative media: operational Darwinism and natural selection with a building pass. And whilst the aforementioned supra run in circles, alternative media and new platforms and delivery systems are blowing them out of the water. Citizen journalism at levels of sophistication that are increasingly mind-boggling. And I’m not talking production level – though they’re beyond the amateurish of yore – I’m talking the level of deep-levels of critical analysis and a conversance with and of the facts that are nonpareil. Irrespective of the subject matter, deep research and data mining rival anything that the more traditional (translation: hoary and cobwebbed) media sources employ. No, my friend, the world for the media moribund is collapsing onto itself like a black hole. And instead of light not being able to escape, truth and viewership can’t escape. Mark my words, within two years – two years! – you will not even recognize what used to be called the heralded and bejeweled halcyon days of media Gloria. So long, Murrow; sayonara, Cronkite. The world has just changed but you were too busy waxing funereal over Jeter’s retirement or the latest antics of the NFL cobbling together a nonexistent domestic violence policy. Consider yourself warned. There are hosts of demos and factions, from millennials to the senescent, in every race, sexual identity or stratum. There are millions who want to know about conspiracy facts not theories, about the dark side of governments, rogue elements, the crippling dynamics of central bank chicanery and deception. They want to know about the fictional and tissue thin veneer of the imaginary wars on terror and the like. They see through the absolute egesta of ISIS and ISIL and can in a flash name all the permutations of the new costumed bogeymen. You are experiencing a new dimension of thought and analysis and I am absolutely honored beyond woods to join the revolution. Hie!

Thought for the day. American exceptionalism has transmogrified into American delusion. Delusion fueled by an active and virulent nescience as to the framers’ intent for our republic. Here, St. Gore of Vidal offered this gem of gems.

We should stop going around babbling about how we’re the greatest democracy on earth, when we’re not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarized republic. The founding fathers hated two things, one was monarchy and the other was democracy, they gave us a constitution that saw to it we will have neither. I don’t know how wise they were.

“Gore Vidal and the Mind of the Terrorist”, interview by Ramona Koval, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio National (November 2001)

%d bloggers like this: