This being Election Day, we will pass on our usual semi-conservative (yet financially-responsible) views in order that you can safely read the column in a polling place without the gendarmes being alerted. We’ll also leave our clothes on, unlike some attention-starved wannabe’s..
After all the hype and BS about this being the “most important election of a lifetime” we face a more serious problem within weeks: A lack of Real News. I don’t think we need “Hanoi Jane” to tell us – elections matter, of course. What then?
While the election after-effects will lead to no shortage of claims and counter-charges of this, or that, it will all be pointless once the polls have closed tonight.
Other than a new/refreshed crop of political thugs to scheme ways to tax and spend more of our hard-earned money (which happens regardless of party, majority, or time-frame), a lot of current “News” is about to disappear.
Take for example that :”caravan” in Mexico. After today, it will have a rapidly diminishing draw quotient for radio, TV, and newspaper sites. After all, we already have 1,100 people a day sneaking through the all-too-porous border. This is a week’s worth.
Even IF the open border crowd were to hold sway at the polls, NOTHING would change from the current Trump agenda for perhaps another year and maybe two. That’s because of political hysteresis. In other words, the gap between cause and effect.
Here, look at the House of Representative calendar and tell me how any more change happens this year:
The great “story to the voters” is that “State Work Periods” are where congressoids come home to “hear the people” and, occasionally, hold “hearings.” But, we ALL know that the real decisions are made on politically and financially-driven lobbying efforts underway by the Lobbyist Mafia. Sorry, I meant highly-reputable expert D.C. law firms. (Yeah, sure, you bet’cha!)
How many times have we told you “Elections ought to be on eBay – because there, we could see what the going prices are and know who the high bidders are…” The present system, of course, is not at all “transparent” – one of the more overworked lies of the previous administration. OK, along with healthcare costing less.
Is it any wonder, then, that Axios reports that less than half of Americans have faith in democracy, anymore? Duh.
Even when the newbies take office in January, Donald Trump can still veto budgets not to his liking and play the Game of Washington: Delay tactics.
The whining will rise to a screaming pitch (bet on Maxine, here). And lacking the sense God gave chickens, the mainstream media (MSM) will roll out their latest “Stand by for the Mueller fishing and hooker expedition to actually do something” story. It’s already in play, so in a real news shortage it will be coming back for a new season; just as soon as the current episode of Checkbook Democracy winds up tonight.
Vanity Fair is again all wrapped up in the Mueller repeat season with speculation that Donald Junior could be in Mueller’s sights. Which only makes sense since MediaBiasFactcheck scores Vanity Fair a center-left/left leaning publication and Don Jr. is likely not of their party of choice.
Today’s screen children aren’t taught the key lessons of journalism. let me help:
- Everything is a business model.
- Everyone’s grinding an ax.
- Everyone’s in it for themselves.
Few, if any, significant numbers of voters ever figure out that 80-90 percent of News is Manufactured. Sorry to burst your bubble.
The days of the shining journalist are long gone. Today, Public Relations firms, paid newswires, “media assistants” of politicians make-up that 80- 90 percent of “news.”
They “make it up” to fit their business model, because it’s their agenda. “Pseudo-news” is shipped out to “assignment editors” as “story leads” and “news releases.” Said editors in turn assign “reporters” who in turn shoot (or use the PR-supplied stock footage) to make a “package” that lands on the 6-o’clock show. Magically, it’s then “real news.”
After and often before airing, the “package” is then sectioned up, tossed on streaming and (if the reporter is luck) the video goes viral and/or they get a pay bump or a job offer from a Major Market.
That’s information reality.
That leaves 10-20 percent of “news” as (more or less) real.
Real News that 10-20 percent, may be further analyzed as either AoG or AoCC items.
AoG news are “Acts of God.” In this category we can drop in weather of all sorts (hurricanes, floods, and yada-yada). AoG stories also include things like the “perfect red heifer” story and airplanes falling out of the sky. Whether this last, in the case of the Indonesia 737-MAX crash was an Act of God, or Act of Boeing will be sorted out in due time. As a pilot, though, I can assure you people live and die by the functioning of their airspeed indicator.
AoCC news items are “Acts of the Crazies and Carelessness.”
When you read a story like “New Zealand fisherman pulls 18-month-old baby from sea alive in ‘freakish miracle’” there’s usually a careless angle to it – namely the child had wandered off from a campsite.
Over on the “crazy” side, try on “Man shot, killed inside Huntersville Walmart; suspect in custody.” Getting the idea?
There’s a Lack of Trend News
This is a “pet bitch” of mine [newsroom language is very direct and unminced]: UrbanSurvival and our subscriber-side Peoplenomics are deeply into trends. Why? Because this is really the news you can use. Unless you were onboard that falling airplane, or in the Wal-Mart with the perp shooting, there’s not much to do lin Life but to “…go along to get along/” Stay healthy, get laid, and stack cash for retirement, too. if you’re lucky. .
The trends, though? They MATTER. This is the Big Stuff.
For example, there’s a case right now that residential real estate is either peaking (as in a few hot markets) or is already rolling over in others. Yet, local TV news shows seem generally asleep at the switch on this kind of thing. At least, until someone manufactures a story for them.
Back in the once-glorious days of news, we called such “trend noticing and reporting” the enterprise stories. Read that as when a “thinking reporter sees a trend and follows it out a ways…” Not too much of that going on.
Those not familiar with the concept of enterprise may wish to read a marvelous concept created by Seattle Times reporter Richard Buck back when I was chasing around news in the Jet City. It was called the “Cost of Nothing Index” and its still memorialized online on sites like this one. That is what enterprise is about.
The reality today is that thanks to the public relations professionals in America, there’s almost always a good supply of “news packages” for reporters to keep them pointed along the corporate path.
Other trends (AoG’s like weather) have been spun up into the new “Climate Industry” and so forth. Which in turn, leads the PR pro’s to find ways to “wrap their products in Climate Change” which leads to stories about how this product or that is good for the climate or argues that the product has a lower carbon footprint which is good for…. (If you can’t fill in that black, you’re an idiot and you should return to mindless icon pressing before your brain begins working again.
Don’t mean`to sound like the gruff old news guy in the corner, but the Grand Illusion will resume tomorrow – right after the Grand Distraction (which is the illusion of democracy) finishes tonight.
The trends that matter – like the Federal Reserve Consumer Debt (which they deceitfully call credit will be out tomorrow. That will tell us how deeply people are digging their own financial holes. Sure, it matters, but it will be buried by the leftover hype, recounts, charges, and demagoguery associated with the post-election period.
In News, Cycles Matter
We enjoy watching various cycles in news, so here’s one for you to ponder.
We know sociological trends come and go in a regular way. Socialism had a bit run in 1912, again in 1933, then in 1968, and it’s making another run now. The social pendulum is changing, though. It’s moving to the right. We ought to be ripe, in another 10-years, or so, for the replay of the Joe McCarthy attacks on communism.
We can also look at terrorism as a potential cycle to be concerned with. Remember, the first attack on the Twin Towers was in 1993 with the second one in 2001. That’s about 8-years. If you’re a nutjob and view things in a cyclical way, there’s a rhyme coming due soon. And that’s why when our market data has us watching the period around Nov. 27th of this year, why we have terrorism concerns around Thanksgiving weekend.
Just like the 130-150 day “soft” mass murder cycle, there is really very little (per Ecclesiastes 1:9) that is “new under the sun.”
Which is why, in newsrooms around the world, what passes for “news” is really more an exercise is packaging and performance. It’s fertile ground for media consultants, but the “presents” are still the same.
Tough to build an audience and that’s what makes TV “work.” Current trends? A recent Mervin Block commentary notes “A new blight is blanketing the land: broadcast scripts injected with nowness..” A-freakin-men. Remember the weather reporter “outed” for leaning into a non-existent terrible wind while doing a hurricane report?
Wheat from chaff, dear reader. Very little wheat, but chaff? Ah, there’s the business to be in after this week’s out….With Dow futures down 50, even the markets are bored.
Warn the chickens…I’m looking for eggs…and we’ll have “moron the ‘morrow..”