Thursday, April 20, 2006

Welcome to the Media. May I take your order?

You’re probably as tired as I am of the Natalie Holloway story and the story about the alleged rape at Duke. Those two stories get far more air time than the deceptions of this administration and the war. We wonder why this happens. Miss Holloway surely is not the only missing person in the United States and sadly people are accused of rape every day. The media covers these stories because they have an audience who craves them.

To me this is similar to the obesity of the American people. Some want to blame this obesity problem on fast food restaurants and junk food producers. In reality the restaurants and food producers make this food available because the public has a taste for it and demands it. Unhealthy food is not a new thing. Speaking as a child of the deep South, unhealthy food may have it’s origins down here. We batter and fry anything that stands still. Grease is a food group in the South.

The food producers, not being stupid, realized that there is a market out there made up of people who want to buy and eat food which is not healthy but has taste appeal. It’s food with lots of grease and salt and sugar. As a result of ingesting this combination of ingredients, many people gain a lot of weight. Perhaps they don’t mind. Perhaps the convenience and the taste are more important to them than their own health. Are these people wise? I’ll leave that up to you.

The news providers have discovered the same formula for success that the food producers have. There is hunger in the viewing audience for gossip type news stories. Some of the viewers grew up with their noses in everyone’s business but their own and they still have a taste for such things. They like news with sex, mystery, and other people’s personal tragedies. As a result of watching and hearing these kinds of stories, many people gain a lot of useless knowledge. Are these people wise? Again, I’ll leave that up to you.

So as we watch many Americans drive through the fast, but unhealthy, news lane we are left to wonder, why do they prefer to have unhealthy minds due to their over consumption of personally tragic news. Unfortunately they have acquired a taste for any news that shows distress in other’s lives and it’s a lot easier than recognizing the distress in their own lives. They will take time to grab a fast news story because it makes them feel good to know that someone is in worse shape than they are, a sort of self-gratification at the expense of someone else.

As long as the public shows an interest, a taste and a desire to be more up to date on their fellow man’s shortcomings than in the present and future of our country, there will always be a lane open and someone to serve them.


Blogger Carl said...

Great minds think alike, PoP...

April 20, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

You're right again.

Last night I tried watching the news to hear more about McClellan and Rove, but every channel had a story about rape and/or murder instead... Natalie, Duke, and the Boston Strangler are apparently more important? Not to downplay the tragedies, but come on. There are wars going on, soldiers and civilians dying, and famine and disease around the world... how can we be an informed society when all we get is this other stuff. Same with most fast food... lots of it, but little nutrition from any of it, eh?

April 20, 2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

If it bleeds, it leads. I have a theory that NASCAR fans watch the races, not to see who wins, but for the pileups.

In this small city, everyone (except me usually) races to their sidewalk at the sound of a siren.

April 20, 2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger pinkfem said...

I like the analogy between fast food and fast news. Small greasy bites for the mind.
People have the equivalent of a fast food drive-through attention span. Remember when poverty was an "in" topic lastyear, right after Katrina?

April 20, 2006 11:34 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

I've wondered if it has anything to do with the popularity of soap operas - day or nightime. We're all so used to watching other people on tv.

April 20, 2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger shutterwi said...

Ok. I get the hint. I listen more to NPR / Air America / Democracy Now and eat more salads. Great post.


My mom and dad worked in the prison where the "Boston Strangler"(Albert DeSalvo)was jailed. He was paid to take the rap.

For years it had been common knowledge that it was someone else who was the real strangler.'s the kicker the real Boston Strangler was arrested for another crime and received a long sentence and was held in the same jail.

This is not a Yeti story. :)

April 20, 2006 11:58 AM  
Anonymous rebellious renee said...

I swear....if I hear Natalee Holloway's name one more time....
I'm gonna PUKE! me the toilet now.

April 20, 2006 12:40 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

I feel for all the families to whom horrible things happen. They still don't have to be headline news all the time.

Thanks for the comment on granny. If I couldn't find something funny from time to time, I'd go nuts.

It's the main reason I don't do a lot of politics on granny although no one who knows me has any doubt how I feel.

For me, having the two blogs makes more sense.

April 20, 2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Well, you know, we just love murders and gangbangs. Especially if the murders are possibly preceded by a gangbang. We hunger for the details of the gangbang.

April 20, 2006 2:12 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...


April 20, 2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I think the Hershey Candy Company is very wise. Nothing goes better with my dose of evening news than a Hershey kiss!

April 20, 2006 4:06 PM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

I agree with you these stories are done to death by the media, but they do have their place. In the case of Miss Holloway, one can make the case that the Aruban investigation, or lack thereof, shows a stunning lack of concern for justice when it comes to the privileged class, to which the main suspects belong. They couldn't wait from the very beginning to find a couple of scapegoats in the form of a couple of black, poor security guards and gave the rich white kid with connections, along with his friends, a pass.

That is why the story has latched on to the public imagination to such a great extent, in my opinion. Not so much the purported crime as such, on it's own, but due to its value as a kind of signpost that points out the disparity between rich and poor in terms of justice.

April 20, 2006 8:49 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

I'm guilty of being interested in the Lacy/Scott Peterson thing. I watched to see him get his guilty verdict and then the death penalty. What a jerk he was.

April 21, 2006 1:35 AM  

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