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Am I getting older and yet more cynical or is the media getting more and more transparent?

By Andrew Pollack on 05/28/2005 at 10:54 PM EDT

I'm an admitted information junkie. I read print versions of Wired, CPU, and Scientific American -- all cover to cover -- and can never resist a good article from Goggle News, which is my home page. I keep up with SlashDot (aka /.) and a dozen or so blogs and haven't missed a local news broadcast while in town in years. I listen to NPR and Marketplace whenever possible and I'm still looking for more all the time. Lately, however, the feeding frenzy of salacious non-news is getting to be more than I can stomach.

Lets quickly recap --

First, anything related to Viagra is top news. That's a given. We've been living through this for a while, complete with stupid commercials showing people throwing footballs more accurately after presumably taking some. This week, we have two new headline making stories. First, that the stuff apparently can make you blind. Of course, that's not necessarily the drug -- perhaps its the increased activity. Then days of headlines about yet another sex enhancement drug designed to improve -- how to put this -- staying power. If you believe the press, there must not be a properly functioning human male in that all important affluent mid-forties with expendable cash demographic. The second actually reminds me a joke, the punch line of which was "Yellow. I think I'll paint the ceiling yellow."

If the US press and its absolute frenzy of repeated excitement about the mere possibility of talking about male genitals is too much, the UK press seems entirely focused on the thought of its young favorite pop star having an early stage breast cancer tumor removed. While its true that this happens every day and in fact she's expected to fully recover -- the mere discussion of the young lady's medical condition allows all readers to consider the poor girls probably perfect pouty little prize in their minds just long enough to sell more newspapers. gack.

Fill that in with the completely unavoidable Jackson trial in which we are forced to view the alleged manipulations and details and endless wrangling. Double Gack.

What do all these stories have in common? Aside from the prurient baseness of their appeal to the great unwashed masses, they all offer absolutely no value or bearing on the health, safety, prosperity, or comfort of the overwhelming majority of people reading them.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Yes. By Jon Johnston on 05/31/2005 at 02:25 PM EDT
Yes - you're getting older.
Yes - you're getting more cynical.

Is it really possible for the media to be any more transparent? I really
believe that most people know that "news" isn't really news, it's the crap that
they want to shove down our throats.

I also believe that most people don't care about the stuff that truly affects
them - they'd rather hear about stuff that doesn't matter because they don't
think that they can do about the stuff that affects them.

"I'm just one of six billion, what the hell can I do about global warming? How
many points did Shaq score last night, dammit!"

OTOH, are you sure you're not just resenting the ads because they're targetted
at you (and me) and you're not 20 anymore?
My own thoughts on this are...By Ben Rose on 06/02/2005 at 02:59 AM EDT
Kylie Minogue is actually Australian...we just adopted her for some reason. I
guess she used to be cute...

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