Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fark You Too: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News...


























...From the "this-just-in-my-craw" Dept...a month-and-change ago I was listening to a radio interview with Drew Curtis the guy who started a Web site to throw funny shite on for his friends far and wide to check...fark.com ...as it turns out the word "fark" was actually a "non-term" and didn't mean anything initially but since then, the 24-hour news cycle has made it almost requisite for a lot of "non-information" to make it into the nation's daily intake of news coverage (why everyone knows, in nuanced detail, about how much money a presidential hopeful spends on a haircut, but couldn't tell you who's their representative in the Senate or the Congress)...

...what set me off? The "newsflash" I heard yesterday that, based on a newly released report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of people in fatal accidents on the nation's roads dropped 2% (the largest such decrease in nearly 15 years)...as I sat there waiting for the obvious to be pointed out (that gas is so expensive that less people are on the roads...more and more people are using discretion when taking trips in their hoopty...it was never even touched)...the story even took a grim twist as the top 'o the hour newsguy wrapped the segment up-- "motorcycle deaths were up 5.1%, the ninth consecutive year that the statistic's risen"...more people buy bikes which is a shite's sight more economical than a car for getting around, especially in cities sprawled out like the one I live in-- the fact that petrol outlets are making record-busting profits got lost in the sauce...how convenient..

...In the interview, Drew spoke on the ubiquitous nature of infotainment these days, like how just before a holiday weekend the McNews casters will breathlessly report on how air travel and traffic on the nation's roads will increase exponentially over the next few days...for reals? you're kidding-- all the while skipping around something of real substance and or import, like, say how are things hanging in Fallujah at the moment...who's zoomin' who in Darfur...is it true that while millions of gallons of petrol gets exported to wealthier nations, native Nigerians live in squalor and what in the hell do large multi nationals like BAE Systems, Siemens and General Electric Co.have to do with all of that? ...I first noticed this brand of coverage when I moved from New York to LA a while ago but now it's all over the country and it becomes glaringly apparent if your travel habits take you from coast to coast-- nothing like leaving California, waking up in DC and getting, essentially the same meaningless stuff over and over and over and over again...beaten over the head with inane pap...disinformation...drivel...

...back in the day I used to tune in to sites like Get Your War On or the Onion ...but I don't as much anymore because the shite gets too depressing...though I can't stop checking in to The Ironic Times for a few belly laughs when the guys in black hats seem to be taking over the world...the faux headlines are always right on the money, topical too...so Curtis' Fark site was the next logical progression in where I get my geo political giggles...according to the site's info page...

"The first thing you should know is that Fark.com isn't a Weblog. Fark.com, the Web site, is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site. Every day Fark receives 2,000 or so news submissions from its readership...Fark isn't an acronym. It doesn't mean anything. The idea was to have the word Fark come to symbolize news that is really Not News. Hence the slogan "It's not news, it's Fark." ...Four letter domain names were getting snapped up quickly, so on a whim in the summer of 1997 Drew checked to see if Fark.com was available. It was, and he grabbed it. At the time the only thing you could do with a Web site was put up what was then called a vanity site. This was almost all the Internet consisted of back in 1997...Drew didn't want to use the Fark.com domain name for a vanity site, so he decided to wait until he had a better idea."...























...circling back on the the thrust of the interview, Curtis pointed out how "newstainment" is managed, stories featuring nutsos and conspiracy theorists get recorded months in advance and filed away for use during a later broadcast, sometimes many months later-- this might seem like no big deal to some but it incenses me that there are a lot of people who can't tell the difference between what the real, hard news and a TV commercial dressed up to look like it is (does the average American really base his decisions on how much money a newly released film has made? -- I sometimes cover films and could care less...see the built-in promotional construct-- "if that many people saw it, maybe I should too, roight?")...


























...Curtis also spoke on the contents in his book It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News which dives even deeper into how real, hard news gathering has devolved into a shadow of its afflict-the-comfortable self; sank so low, so quickly with the help of so few who affect the lives of so many...sure Keith Olberman's been putting it out there but that's only one person...and that's about it...for the most part, if you want the news...the real stuff that people all over the rest of the planet is getting...you've got to fend for yourself...listen...can you hear that?...somewhere that's really toasty, William Randolph Hearst, inspiration for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, the god father of yellow journalism (and Patty's grandfather) is laughing at us all...can you hear him?...well, can you???

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