The biggest headline on Drudge earlier this morning? “FoxNews host death threats after criticizing Trump.”
Following linked story from Drudge will land you on a Variety page where we read “Fox News host Eboni K. Williams on receiving death threats after segment criticizing Trump.” Yet, after reading the story (several times) I couldn’t find anything very specific – no mention of the word “police” or “FBI” – just references to posts on her website by what the reader is left assuming were put there by persons unknown.
Yet, prominently featured in the Variety “story” was the title (and link to buy) the reporter’s upcoming book. (We ain’t gonna link it…)
The whole situation stinks. Let me explain:
News operations don’t do much “enterprising” in the modern world of journos. If something isn’t on a press release, or piped out on one of the paid-distribution press release outfits, it doesn’t usually get covered. Unless, like the occasional F5 tornado, it’s too big not to cover.
As I used to instruct my university (of Washington) journalism interns “When you see a story you didn’t know about, always ask “HOW DID THEY GET ONTO IT?”
There is always a reason to ask. When you’re a beat reporter hanging around the ‘cop shop’ for news, you talk to the homicide guys, the dicks, and then you wander by the Chief’s office on your way back to the press office for a refill of the styro cup with what passes for coffee. You buy doughnuts for Vice now and then.
This is how you find the really good sources – the ones that will give you enough of a ‘lead’ that you can follow it. Juicy stories…front page stuff.
Fast forward to this morning’s example of what looks to us like the collapse of investigative reporting: We have to wonder How to Variety get onto this?
Did Eboni Williams call them? Did her BOOK publicist? Did the PR Department of Fox? I mean seriously: Is this a ‘story?’ How did it “get legs?”
Ugly fact: We live in a world where (when sh*t happens) there’s always a line of people working every possible angle to monetize things. We wonder, again in passing, how many books this Variety story will sell?
See, to a real reporter – or anyone able to read the news closely – the how did they get onto this is always bigger than the story itself. News is marionettes; what we’re after is the string-pullers.
We suspect we know how Drudge picked up the story: Once the Variety folks wrote it (with the embedded Amazon book link) the story showed up as an RSS (real simple syndication) feed over here: http://variety.com/static-pages/rss-2/
Posted:Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:36:30 +0000
All of which gets us to the highly cynical (yet, we fear ACCURATE) perception that the reason Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, along with all the other folks in the White House, are facing their own failure is because Trump (et al) have not understood that Trump Bashing is an Industry.
Let me hold up a few examples to drive the point home:
In the New York Times today? Trump Opens Breach With Party, Military and Industry.
Along with A Trump Lawyer Echoes the Secessionist Rhetoric, plus details of how Bannon Mocks Colleagues and ‘Alt-Right’ in Interview, and The Confederate Symbols Being Removed.
And it doesn’t stop there. The Times then cheers on: A New Resistance to Confederate Symbols‘ and ‘The World We Live In’: Black Voices on the Turmoil.”
And the paper’s front page – which is all we’re talking here – the online front page – continues with A Fox News Host Attacks Trump, and Some Viewers Bristle, Jewish Staff Is Silent After the President’s Remarks, C.E.O.s Organize a Mass Defection After Trump Hedges.
Then the monetization of anti-Trump continues with G.O.P. Fears Trump Left the Party in a Precarious Spot and G.O.P. May Be Stuck in a Relationship With Trump.
A curious thing emerges from the headlines here: The dueling miscreants of Charlottesville have disappeared. Lost in the crowd of Trump-kickers.
It’s been morphed into bad Trump, Confederacy, Black Voices, Jews and the tattered remnants of the GOP.
That’s why – when we see a story like the Fox host story in Variety we like to pause briefly to think about the battlespace.
The story in Charlottesville was about the miscreants (on both sides) while the cops stood by to let it bubble into a big story – not Trump. Not statues. It’s about who paid for the out of towners? Sore-us, I suppose. But no one is asking. Instead we see the tills thrill with shill’s spills.
Once upon a time, such truths were self-evident.
Reporters shouldn’t be surprised to receive death threats, if they’re doing their job. My first run-in with death threats involved a purported local Seattle Mafioso-type [allegedly] pushing drugs and running girls and a numbers game out of a couple of a number of local strip joints back in the day.
Unlike carefully-worded, non-specific website comments, this was the very serious “Don’t open strange packages if any show up in your mailbox…” and “Don’t take the same way home every day for a while…” advice from local cops and an old FBI agent named Charlie who knew the score.
That was back in the day….and THAT it wasn’t a story.
But, then again, I hadn’t written a book yet.
The pressure to monetize Charlottesville is incredibly summed up in this: Apple’s Cook says he disagrees with Trump, vows donations to rights groups.
You mean of money that could be paid out to shareholders?
Meantime: Real News
South Korea’s Moon Jae-In Says There Will Not be Another War on the Korean Peninsula. A more mentally prepped person would have noted that the last war is not over….it’s just on hold.
Buy Blackout Curtains!
And pick up some soda water: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene.
Markets to Drop
Fed Industrial Production out shortly. Dow set to open down 62.