Friday, July 15, 2011

Overheard at Table 2: The News of the World

I'm really not sad to see the News of the World shut down. Everyone knows it was a rag. The thing is, Murdoch owns also the Sun, the Times, and the Sunday Times, and the last two are quote-endquote "real news" while the News of the World and the Sun are tabloids. Guess which ones made money and which one's didn't?

The News and the Sun.

Dams'trait. Why do you think that is?

I dunno. Sensationalism? People like to fanatize more than they like to read real news.

I think that's around about it. It's us. We, the People, in order to satisfy our craving for the emotional high we get for living lives vicariously through the rich and famous and infamous and salacious, we demand more and more cotton candy vomit, rather than a real healthy meal of "hey, this is what's really going on in the world. I mean, if people would stop demanding stories of which movie stars are divorcing from rock stars and read a dose of cummings, or Hunter Thompson, or Ray Bradbury, then the people would have an appetite for real reporting, and they'd get real news.

So you're saying the fault lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.

Exactly! Of course Shakespeare was talking about fate when he said stars, so I like the subtle shift in meaning in today's context (you know, "stars" as in "movie stars")

Yeah yeah, I get that you get what I mean.

I just can't stand living in a world where we want our prestige newspapers to always be around, but we never want to read them. That's just having a culture for show.

But you forget one thing.

What's that?

Most people's lives are boring. Americans anyway. They have to have the stimulous of finding out that the latest teenage heiress is in rehab while giving birth to her out-of-wedlock child. If they don't they lead otherwise empty, passionless lives.

It's sugar high vs. exercise. Tabloids are instant stimulation, but journalism strengthens the mind.

You really should go into advertising.

I'd love to. But guess where my ads would sell!

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