“Divisive” is an Economic Function

I want to share with you a point or two that I somehow didn’t get around to making when I was on  CoastToCoastAM with George Noory last night:

The main one is all this “Divisiveness” that is plaguing America right now is an economics-driven function.  Believe me, you’ll understand a lot more about “fake news” and all the falderal after we run through a simple thought exercise.

Basics:

Business models of “news organizations” have changed in the past 10 years.

10-years ago, the Internet was seen as an “interesting upstart” that was beginning to nip at the heels of a few major media outlets.

Today, there are tens of thousands of alt. news sites and even the old-timers of the web – like the Drudge Report – are being challenged by sites offering fewer adds and that don’t shove “push technology” in order to increase “page views.”  And example of a “gen-2” web news site is https://whatfinger.com.

In summary, what matters is consumers now have a lot more choices.

Now Let’s Run a Business Model

Assume in the “old days” (10 years ago) there were 30 newspapers that mattered and 10 news networks.  The internet ate 5% of available audience.  The Audience was 200-million – to pull a number out of the air.

Assume ad revenues were $10-billion for the group.  Profits were 5%.

Fast-forward to new figures of Today:

Still 30 newspapers and 10 major networks.  But there is zero profit because the Audience has dropped from 200-million to 125-million.  Costs have kept going up. Where’d the audience go?

OMG, let’s count the ways.  Everything from ZeroHedge on the financial side to streaming IHeart news stations, to WhatFinger to even our own RSS aggregation for my personal convenience at ComputationalFuture.com.

Here’s How Divisive Arises

Pretend you have a news network and you’re losing money.  What do you do?

Monetize Personality.  Shock Talk – worked for Howard Stern on radio, didn’t it?  And so hire the “angry anchors” and Trump-haters get into a ratings battle that (according to the overnights) are good for revenue. Partisan Big Time Wrestlemanics.

Since President Trump cut-off CNN’s Jim All Caustic and yanked his WH press credentials, we have to wonder who next from CNN will show up at the next WH presser (and will they not interrupt?).

The usual Trump-hater response goes to the idea that Trump is “Trying to shut us down.”  No, no, no.  Change is here and you’re not seeing it.

Gently, but, here’s the facts:  The free market is shutting down excess news channel capacity for the President.  He won’t have to lift a finger.  Well, until someone gets stupidly rude selling their lefty agenda because that “has good young people demographics…”  FMTT, have these people no vision?

You see, as with radio, “shock talk” teevee news will meet the same fate.  How much crap America will be put through (as emotional anguish along the way) is all that we wonder about.  There will continue to be at least a couple of “hard news” networks because that’s how technology change rolls.  Eventually, the center will reappear.

But, the reality is that media moguls in their once-ivory towers, need to go back to their Ivy League training schools and get their money back or at least take a few business and history course to put things in perspective.  They have lost their bearings.

Old-Style News has met its match because, as we described Trump’s brilliant “consumer-direct” gamble on Twitter (that helped seal his Presidency), an old technology and vertical hierarchy has fallen.  It’s just the people in the High Towers haven’t noticed yet.

In the real world, networked computers have already flattened the org charts and thus, it’s only a matter of time until the commoditization of news is complete and driven by the same codebase.

As always, we try not to offer harsh assessments – like this one of the divisive CNN – without offering solutions as well:  Might we therefore propose the CNN Board review Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition by Everett Rogers?  And, with input from the radio division, talk about the trajectory of “shock talk” and then map where they’ve been to a new “Where they’re going?”

Understanding of the change of media flow is the secret to becoming a billionaire.  Ironically, that’s how CNN got started:  Ted Turner spied a new media opportunity and launched cable news.  Brilliant.

Problem is, that business model’s day in the sun is setting and shock-talk (not to mention going to rude and arrogant with the US President) is merely a short-term holding action for a network that could reinvent itself as a new thought leader.  But, maybe I give them more credit than due and no, as a long-time big city news director, I’m not going to give them the one way out that could work…My consulting rates are posted around here somewhere.

I will offer this – and I think you’ll find it interesting:

Whenever there’s an operating environment change such that a new “media efficiency” can be discovered, someone will be bright enough to take advantage of it and build an empire.

Take the US Postal Service.  It got to be very big and very dependable in the 1800’s.  It spawned what?  Correct answer:  Sears and Roebucks, Montgomery-Wards, and a host of other mail order outfits.

Fast-forward, change media and remember what I just schooled you on about diffusion of innovations, right?

People today view Jeff Bezos over at Amazon as a billioniare genius.  But to us, he’s just living proof (again) of Ecclesiastes “No new thing under the Sun.”

You see Bezos is replaying the damn Sear Roebuck business model and it was proven just yesterday when this arrived in the mail:  Know what it is?

YES!!!  It’s the Amazon printed Christmas Catalog for kids!  A Sear Roebuck last Depression innovation!

We don’t know if there will be a Sears Wish Book this year, but the mailing of the Sears Christmas Catalog was a very big deal for millions of now grown-ups back in the day.

It’s a delicious rhyme in economics, too.  Because the Sears Wish Book was launched in 1932 and we take the Amazon spin on it landing this week as proof-positive of where we are in the social cycle (or is it PMS mood-swings?)  of the country.

In the ultimate irony, as Amazon continues to exploit the new media (that Sears missed, just like CNN missed its fundamental premise changing), Sears’ Wish Book 2017 was online.

So there are two pretty good “thoughts for the day” to ponder, for you.

We see divisiveness is a last-ditch media effort to defend the old news paradigm not realizing that the Internet has cut the foundations out from under old media and yes, I too watched the White House stream direct…Who needs the bullsh*t commentary if I can hear for myself what Trump says.

I don’t need some token-hire news babe or buffo to tell me what I just heard with my own two ears, do I?  That’s point one.

Second:  Amazon is replaying Sears.  Except in Seattle as the rhyme of history turns, Starbucks HQ is now on Utah Ave at what was the Sears Seattle Warehouse and Store when us old Seattle-types were planning the future.

Pretty neat, huh?

Turn Day Tomorrow?

Vacuum under the bed because if our turn date is right, next week we will be scampering to hide under the bed as we come up on 66 days from the all time market highs right after Turkey Day.

This afternoon, the Federal Reserve will decide whether to raise rates a quarter point now or wait until it can be sold as a Christmas present.

My sense is with the market blowing higher, could see a hike announced this afternoon.

Dow futures were down 70-earlier (try 4:30 AM, but I’m not staying up for the open since I’ve been up all night).

Quips and Snips

Behold!  The All Aspects News Story!  “Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders tell all on ‘Debbie Does Dallas’ scandal, supporting the troops.”

California gun law note: “Authorities: Gunman wounds 11 people at California bar.”

Hmmm… “Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair to replace Elon Musk.”  Yes, but does he smoke?

And the hits just keep on coming, department: UBS faces new legal battle in U.S. over mortgage securities.

And if you want to buy an old painting: Scientists Have Discovered the World’s Oldest Known Animal Drawing in an Indonesian Cave.

4:48 AM…so time to get the other part of sleep…moron the ‘morrow…

33 thoughts on ““Divisive” is an Economic Function”

  1. The main thing I find amusing about the Acosta dust up, (besides Trump standing up to a real bully) is remembering how this same press treated Obama. Rarely did they ask a difficult question, but I remember that one guy was chased by the other pressers when he did ask a question Obama didn’t like. But they aren’t biased.Noooooo. And they don’t have a left leaning agenda. This is why I can’t watch any national news show and it’s getting tougher to sit through a local broadcast.

    • My favorite was telling the NBC news chick “Don’t be a baby” when she asked how he knew there were criminals in the caravan. I’ve come to the conclusion that, Yes, some of them are downright stupid!

    • First and foremost we need to tell them to “STOP” in no uncertain terms their behavior will no longer be tolerated. When they act like children give them a timeout !!

      • This is why God gave us remotes and rating surveys.
        “No, I don’t watch any TV news – all useless a–holes…” seems to be well comprehended.

  2. Thank God for the the coming of the Artificial Inteligene (AI) era. There doesn’t seem to be any intelligence in Liberal America. Maybe we can plant some chips in their brains.

  3. Thanks for the great summary of the news business that is changing so fast. Funny when you said Ted of CNN fame without thinking I thought Ted who.

  4. My idea is to allow the news channels to be aired for 1 hour at 6 am, 12 pm, 6 pm, & 11 pm. This way they can report the news & not create controversary to fill their broadcasts 24/7. We can then get back to a sane Walter Concrite era of news.

    Another idea is to sic the FCC on them like they did Howard Stern.

    • I’ve spent the better part of 45 minutes trying to figure out what this means…Candidates mostly t8urds?

      • Sear’s catalogs had multiple uses back when, and one of them was in the outhouse. You can take your online version to the reading room today, but flushing my tablet is contraindicated for septic tank health…
        :-)

  5. George: This angry divisiveness was expertly exploited by the R’s, mostly for tax cuts, repeal of O-care and trashing the environment (oops, I mean less restrictions). It worked. Everything is a business model. So why the big surprise when it gets turned back on them?

    Also, people say they are confused about Trump ‘firing’ Sessions. Simple. Trump knows the truth, he is guilty, Mueller has the proof, ergo Trump must shut Mueller down.

    Now the D’s have subpoena powers too. Hillary withstood years of subpoenas, and all the Rs ever found were a few emails. Let’s see how Team Trump fares. And I’d still really like to know why that Russian oligarch (aka Putin lackey) paid $95 million for Trump’s $40 million FL. estate.

    BTW, saw that interest rates spiked when it looked like the R’s might hold the House. So much for the party of fiscal responsibility. So much for the national debt. So much for trashing your dollar. Best, Mike.

      • yepper George I agree I mean this inflation stuff is ridiculous you know back in the day when we were younger in the sixties and seventies you could buy a new car for like 300 hours of work now it takes close to about 3,000 hours of work to buy a new car

  6. Just saw in the headlines that Justice Ginsburg fell and broke several ribs. I certainly do not wish any ill upon anyone, but if there is another Supreme Court vacancy, after the Kavanaugh confirmation, talk about your Cat 5 fecal storm that would blow…

  7. George,

    I have concluded that CNN, Fox, etc. are not news channels at all. They are what I call “newsertainment.” People watch them 24/7 just like they would watch reality TV. Go away from the TV for 15 minutes and you might miss “breaking news.”

    Nothing could be worse than stale news, right.

    Addiction?

  8. The universe the galaxies the solar systems the planets the inside of the planet and the outside of the planet have one thing in common and that is the starfish except this starfish that were talking about has eyes

    Since the starfish we’re talking about how’s ahead two arms two legs this is the system that is found throughout the Universe.

    We are a literary form of middle Persian.

    And 99% of us are in the poor farm,
    At the bottom of the sea.

    How will we ever squeeze to the top.

    And if we had a choice of the nine planets.

    Which would you belong.

    Enough of the tittle-tattle.

    We are in a cycle .

    I guess George will have to dig a Little Deeper into the metaphysical 2 figure that the dragon eats its own tail.

    But on a good note eat drink and be merry, just don’t sign that contract oh debt which they are masters of.

    May all beings be lovingly fulfilled

    financially fulfilled ,

    and readily fulfilled so be it

  9. You all have it wrong. A friend of mine is a law enforcement hostage negotiator. He also just got his real estate liecense and we had drink last night at the local watering hole.

    Hisntake…The divisiveness starts with Trump. Let’s take the Caravan…He turned this into a war that he couldn’t turn back from. “A real leader would have said..

    .”It has come to our attention that a Caravan of a few thousand people has crossed the Guatemalan border with the intention of seeking asylum in both Mexico and the U.S. We are monitoring the situation and are working with Mexican officials to make sure that no immigration rules are broken. We are also in communication with Guatemalan officials to figure out why people are fleeing their country. Right now, we have deployed humanitarian groups to Mexico to speak with the people in the Caravan to see if we can get any specifics of their plight and flight from their home country.

    “We have also beefed up our border with asylum personnel to interview and process those that wish to continue their lives here in the U.S. We know we have the greatest country on earth that is loved by many. It’s no surprise that they chose our country as an option for a new life. However, we have a process. We have a plan. Be assured that we will do our best to make sure everyone is given their due process, while maintaining first and foremost the safety and well being of the great citizens of the U.S. “

    That would have been the proper response…but TV TRUMP knows that would not have been good for the ratings. So, he turned it into a Made for TV reality show. Cue the villain, the drama queen, the diplomat, the con man, the Lover, the fighter, the drug dealer, the NARC, and the rest of the kitchen sink and you have an INVASION. That’s SHOCK TALK…Trumpmis a master of it.

    So, I don’t blame Jim Acosta for trying to uncover the scam…I have been thinking that all along. He is a good reporter just trying to uncover the lies. Trump just destroyed our first amendment rights.

    • A Caustic is just downright rude and disrespectful…and that – to use the poker term – is the “tell.”
      The divisiveness will continue until the old paradigm finishes itws decline and there is a semblance of economic order in media again. for now, the imbalance leads to ultra-emotional coverage of events and there’s your divisive.
      Trump doesn’t cause Weinstein or the other social ills – He’s just not that important. Money, though? Oh hell yeah.

      • Except one thing you are missing here George. It’s not Caustic to verbal slam a Caustic. It’s pretty obvious that Trump is mentally challenged. You all can see that Right? At first we all laughed and he was great fodder for the late night talk show hosts. However… It’s not funny anymore. It’s time to stop laughing and fight this evil person.

        Trump is nothing but a ratings whore…it’s all he has known his entire life since he was a Studio 54 regular in his youth. Big deal, he can utilize Twitter to cut through the media clutter…so can the Kardashian’s…doesn’t make them Presidential material.

      • We hold to something called Chain of Command, mark.
        Failing that in the military, Captain’s Mast or Courts martial.
        Command is tantakmount to control.
        President is the elective head of the country.
        People who don’t show respect (and Caustic didn’t) cross a “red line.”

  10. If the media “news” contained actual information – facts, learning opportunities, courses, strategies, etc., we might actually watch or listen. As it is, when I have time, I always record something to listen to when driving other than the drivel on the radio. I don’t listen to music when driving – there’s nothing worthy that’s broadcast anyway.

    I’d rather listen to something in a foreign language and try to understand it. At least I’m exercising my mind and learning new things.

    Of course, Tom Leykis was always fun and worth listening to, but hard to find in these parts and no longer available at all.

    Sadly, I was driving back from the big city last night and WOAI was not receiving well. I’ve not figured how to put a beverage antenna on the van, so I missed part of the C to C broadcast.

  11. Hi, George,

    I am certain that you have read the books,”Generations” and “The Fourth Turning”; very compelling reading. You have studied the economic charts that have existed over the previous one hundred years and have graciously shared your perspectives with us. You see parallels with the times then as compared to the time now. I am grateful to you for sharing your knowledge, for relating your future assessments, and for the stories that tell of your life experiences.

    I believe that the citizens of America began their march to a civil impasse around the late 1990’s. When I discuss pendulum swings with my husband, I see those swings as a cause and effect movement. For example, I believe that, if the captains of industry around the 1900’s time frame had treated their factory workers better, then there would not have been such a fertile ground for communism to come into our country and establish a stronghold. Another one: if the North, after winning the war, had not treated the South as a conquered nation, we would have healed that fissure by now. It still stands. We really have not healed from that period in time.

    One more: It took a long time for women to have the rights to vote, as well as for a woman to open a bank account without a male family member vouching for her. Remembering that women in America mostly ran the factories while their men fought in WW2, many women were fired when men returned from the war. It has taken many years for women to be taken seriously in their career choices, and a lot of women had to tolerate abuses by professors in school and also by their bosses in the work place. Of late, doors have opened for women that had never been opened before, giving women many amazing work opportunities. When I was in grade school in the 1950’s, most women could only be teachers, secretaries, or nurses. That has all changed. Then, some women decided to misuse the hard fought integrity of women of the past to accuse men in a court of law of sexual abuse and even rape. Some of these accusers may have been using this as a way for revenge. With this in mind, I am seeing the pendulum swing against those women in their work environments, and even women in general, as they have made themselves a liability to their male co-workers. They may possibly be locked out of doing teamwork in their jobs, as no male wants to be accused of that type of behavior and have their life ruined. These are known as career limiting moves.

    So, how will the pendulum swing in the next few years? Will outside agitators continue to fund civil unrest? Will crime get to the point that the neighborhood watch becomes a militia? Will war come to our shores or our borders? Will we even have a country in ten years? Questions to ponder. Thanks.

  12. Still think the crap we are going through was brought on by the MSM not getting their political add money from Trumps campaign. Guess wont worry as they will mostly be gone in 5 to 10 yrs.

  13. Hi, George,

    As smart as Mark is in real estate, he remains an ever present vocal commentator who speaks strongly against President Trump in most of his posts. He has it totally wrong on the border situation, and so does his friend. Illegal immigration provides an excellent cover for human trafficking and for sex trafficking. I know personally several people (https://www.deliverfund.org) who are rescuers of the girls who have been human trafficked, and they have related to me some of the methods used by those who kidnap children and girls for human trafficking. One of the ways is that many children are brought to the US by people posing as their parents when they are actually not. These children and girls are also trucked north to the US from south of our border. These criminals snatch children and girls from the streets and from small retail stores. One told me of how they capture the runaway girls by posing as their friends, buying them gifts, and inviting them to “parties”. Most of the girls are drugged and made into addicts. Girls are placed in the many “massage parlors” that exist in our cities, Albuquerque included, as it is a crossroads for I-40 and I-25. These girls are rotated around the country. Ads are even placed in the classified section of some newspapers for girls, as well as some online sites. Human trafficking is a huge industry. I will not elaborate on what is done to some of these victims and what becomes of them. To his credit, President Trump is the only US President ever who has spoken publicly against this issue of human trafficking. It is a situation that is beyond horrible, and it is also hard for some people to comprehend that it even exists. If we cannot control our borders, then we cannot control human trafficking for the sex slave industry.

  14. Just wanted to say thanks for the whatfinger.com link. Sadly, I’ve found zerohedge to be lacking in content lately, and the commentary even worse.

    I watched a short video of the CNN incident, too. Every time I see or hear the conflict between the Pres & cabinet versus the media, all I can think is the 2015 movie, Pixels, replaying for real (without the alien invasion). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a president more disrespected ever. A real turn off for every one I know and we don’t watch news anymore.

  15. Divisiveness is a control strategy and it works very well which is why the country is so divided. If you put politics aside and talk to people, everyone wants the same thing with little variation. The trap the public falls into is that almost everyone has bought into a political identity on one side or the other which keeps feeding the divide and control strategy. The rulers just need to keep reinforcing hot button issues to rile up the public, and mind control them through the media. It’s a really great gig for the rulers.

  16. George,

    You have the chain of command all wrong! Every POTUS is elected by the people of the United States of America and therefore is in essence, accountable to us. The US constitution, the congress and yes the Press too is allowed to be the checks and balances of our elected officials.

    When he makes it normal to shut down our voice, then we as a nation have a right to up the ante ourselves.

    Mercy Otis Warren, the great pamphleteer of Revolutionary Boston, in her doubts about the new federal Constitution, saw within in the possibility that, two centuries and change later, the system therein devised would cough up someone like the current president*.

    “And when patriotism is discountenanced and publick virtue becomes the ridicule of the sycophant—when every man of liberality, firmness and penetration who cannot lick the hand stretched out to oppress, is deemed an enemy to the State—then is the gulph of despotism set open, and the grades to slavery, though rapid, are scarce perceptible—then genius drags heavily its iron chain — science is neglected, and real merit flies to the shades for security from reproach…”

    Sound familiar?

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