I hope you don’t get too mad at me for the satirical title I used in order to draw you to this missive. I promise though that my actions are not gratuitous for there is a purpose behind my Monday morning antics. Let me assure regular readers of the Ghion Journal first and foremost that I have not jumped the shark and gone the way of our pitiful mainstream media. While it is the easier path to draw readers with sensationalism and outlandish articles, I refuse to follow the playbook of Huffington Post, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News and the rest of the fatuous cabal of the “fourth estate” for the sake of clicks and retweets.
However, as easy as it is to lay the blame at the feet of the mainstream media, if we are honest we would also be a bit more introspective and realize that we are part of the problem as well. For the establishment is only pushing what sells; the more we devolve into the pits of banality and the preposterous, the more they push the envelop of childishness in order to keep getting more hits. In a way, this begets the chicken and egg question: is the mainstream creating a demand for sensationalism or are they just supplying sensationalism in order to meet the demand of the public? Are mainstream media outlets only responding to the marketplace and giving us what we want or are they actively behind the continued erosion of the public discourse by peddling smut as news?
Maybe the answer is both. I mean after all, just because there is a demand for the profane does not give justification for people to push profanity as a norm. Whatever happened to leading by example and refusing to go along for the sake of getting along? Ah but it’s hard to do what is right and to stand for principles when mainstream media has to constantly meet the concerns of investors and shareholders. It is this relationship between Wall Street and the supposed “free press” that is destroying journalism and abrogating any sense of professionalism that journalists once had. When companies like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and the rest are subsidiaries of corporations, their main concern transforms from holding power in check to cashing checks from power.
The days of chasing leads and hitting pavements to run down tips is gone and over. What we have now is a coterie of juvenile adults who are more concerned about garnering headlines than they are about reporting news. With the exception of a few, almost every member of the mainstream media commits malpractice and mangles the ethos of journalism daily by forgoing truth telling for the sake of retaining access to power. When media personalities are making six to seven figure incomes and are extolled as oracles based purely on the fact that they are famous, they lose any semblance of virtue and instead turn into toadies and fools. Moreover, there is malice behind their work; they intentionally push lies as news and hide the truth in order to protect their sources. Speaking truth to power is made impossible when the powers they are supposed to keep in check are the very patrons who finance their lavish lifestyles.
This is why our mainstream media is a joke. Their interest is not to tell truth at all; your favorite pundit on TV from Hannity, Van Jones, Scarborough, Joy Reid, Sharpton to the clowns on print media; these lackeys have in common is the drive to keep making more money and to keep getting more eyeballs. I’ve been to a couple of newsrooms in the past and I once actually entertained the idea of pursuing journalism while I was at George Mason. I can tell you this with absolute certainty, everything you are watching on TV is about as authentic as Trump’s hair plugs and as unscripted as Obama’s speech. The whole thing is a production as teleprompters and cue cards dictate almost every word these bloviating boobs on TV utter. Pundits are really parrots who squawk on demand and get the cracker of cash and status as their reward.
This weekend I made a comment about Wells Fargo and the criminal ways the bank defrauds their customers by ways of hidden fees and unauthorized accounts. I half-jokingly said “you know sometimes companies tell you who they are with their logos; that horse drawn wagon is Wells Fargo jacking you for your money and making off with your cash”. To which someone in the van I was in pulled up a CNBC article and said “well Teddy, while I am sure you have opinions like everyone else, says here that Wells Fargo just announced a $25 million dollar payout to their investors”. I kind of chuckled and said “so you conflate investors with customers huh and you hold up CNBC as the scion of truth and news as if Jim Cramer and Ron Insana are the oracles of Omaha”.
This minor debate reflects the problem with our mainstream media; CNBC is given credibility not because they deserve it but because they have the backing of NBC Universal which is owned by the behemoth Comcast. Thus, CNBC sole existence is to perpetuate a broken system of corporatism where public owned companies enrich themselves at the cost of the general public. This is why CNBC spends more time pushing Apple products and corporate trinkets and were a dollar and a day late when the great recession of 2007 hit us and blew apart the lives of untold millions of people. Corporate owned media outlets raison d’etre is to sustain the status quo not to speak truth to it. The foxes are being paid by wolves to guard the chicken coop and we are the hens that both are feeding on while we are too busy clucking about the sensationalism that the mainstream media feeds us.
Being a public company, as in answering to the whims of shareholders, inverts the soul of companies and people alike as they go from doing good to maximizing profits. I once worked at a publicly owned company Booz Allen Hamilton; I was hired on when the company was privately held. As a private company, Booz Allen Hamilton actually cared for their employees as their focus was on fostering a company of workers with high morale. All this changed the minute the partners and principles of Booz Allen Hamilton decided to be greedy and go public; the partners and principles got rewarded handsomely for their avaricious quest, the employees got the shaft as “reducing inefficiencies” soon enough led to layoffs and massive attrition. When companies are owned by “shareholders” (read vulture capitalists) what they lose is a sense of responsibility to communities and instead revert to year-over-year profits by any means even if that means skirting quality and morality in order to reap the the next marginal penny.
The greed I cited above is the same greed that has effectively killed the profession of journalism as newsroom after newsroom throughout America and the world has decided to “reduce inefficiencies” like foreign correspondence and chasing down leads in order to maximize profits and inflate viewers by way of sensationalism and scandal mongering. They do this because there is not a price to be paid for reverting to childishness; in fact they get rewarded by the public because we keep turning to them and clicking on idiotic articles. Even those who share outrageous news articles and express horror at the ways of our moronic mainstream media are feeding into the hands of the media they are raging against because sharing articles while expressing indignation is still marketing the very drivel we are raging against.
For the record, I’m not against businesses anymore than I am against the right of soulless corporate suits to push their propaganda as news. Heck, I’m an entrepreneur myself who is competing against the established media by way of sensibility over sensationalism. What I am against is when a few corner the market on both news and businesses as they employ rent-seeking means and their bank accounts in order to push the small guys out of business and monopolize information and goods. The global oligarchy are turning the world into one big corporation with each nation as their franchised lots and morphing us into slaves and assets on their balance sheets. If we don’t wake up soon enough and realize that the sensationalism, the idiocy of trump and the endless outrage that pundits push is to distract us from this fact, we will soon enough be reading the drivel of mass media from soup kitchens as our jobs and our livelihood becomes obsolete.
The irony is that this article would be labeled as “fake news” by our fraudulent mainstream media, meanwhile this article that the Washington Post just published about “the world happiness report” accompanied by a juvenile “sad” in the headline is held up as news. But guess what, this article is the fourth most read article at the Washington Compost and has been shared by countless people. Here is little group exercise, go ahead and read that article from WashPo and then compare it to this article. Which one actually gave news and which one was a waste of your data plan? So then wouldn’t the better way forward be to empower independent media such as Ghion Journal, Michael Salamone , and Truth Diggs (Chris Hedges) to name a few?
We can keep complaining as a public about the sorry state of our mainstream media or we can just click off to their buffoonery and seek alternative forms of being informed. We keep conflating the rich and famous as news makers when in reality they are mutually exclusive for the agenda of the 1% is to keep us misinformed so that we never understand the true source of corruption that is bleeding our nation and shattering the world. It is up to us, do we say no to the puerile drivel that is given to us as news and refuse to click on moronic headlines such as the one I used for this article or do we keep rewarding clowns and carnival barkers?
Keep this in mind as you watch the sideshow that is the Congressional hearings behind Donald Trump’s baseless assertions that Obama spied on him. Partisans in congress and in the broader public will fall for this idiotic assertion and antic either by swallowing Trump’s banality whole or vehemently disagreeing with Trump. But both sides fall for the deception and are distracted by the carnival show that is Trump and the joke that is our congress. The truth is that our government spies not just on Trump but on all of us. By spying I mean the government that we are supposed to be the bosses off is at this present moment, and since 9/11 gave birth to the “Patriot Act”, has immorally if not illegally been vacuuming up endless millions of terabytes by the minute of all data that is transmitted on the internet and the airwaves by all of by way of conduits that they implemented at telecom points of presence (POPs) and cell phone towers. This is what our prevaricating congress and duplicitous mainstream media hide from us and instead distract us with the freak show that is Trump and the equally shameless two-party system.
I hope what you take away from this article is not that I am judging people for falling for the catnip of the sensationalism and outrage that is constantly being dangled in front of us by our depraved mainstream media. My intention is not to be pious or preach from a “more virtuous than thou” pulpit. I too get drawn by the idiocy and nibble at the red meat that is thrown at society’s way for it’s only human to stare into the abyss of sideshows and train wrecks. Moreover, I am not a kill joy, I understand that at times we get drawn to the gauche and the bizarre as a means of distraction from the grind that is life. So I am very much aware of the planks in my eyes as I point out the specks that dot the eyes of spectacle gazers. But as we keep consuming the empty calories offered up by our bought and sold mainstream media, I just hope we are aware of the damage these demagogues and empty suits are wreaking unto us.
As for me, consider this the last time I used an imbecilic headline on Ghion Journal. I would rather build up a small audience of thinkers and those who question dogma instead of chasing viewers in order to expand my audience. I can do this because Ghion Journal is privately owned and has disavowed all ad revenues let alone chasing corporate sponsor. Our aim is to report news and present analysis that edifies our readers instead of seeking clicks for the sake of getting advertisement money. Consider this the boom and the drop mic, fake news are the media whores who hunt corporate patrons and alternative facts are the ones who peddle yellow sensationalism as truth. The truth tellers are the one who report out of passion aside and apart from profit motives. #BoomShadeTrump
“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.” ~ Noam Chomsky
If you like this article, share it widely on social media using #BoomShadeTrump and let others know to stop patronizing parrots and buffoons at the mainstream media. If you are new to Ghion Journal, welcome aboard, consider this your new home and make sure you check out the other articles. More importantly, bookmark this website and subscribe to the RSS feed or the notification pop up. Between 1-2 articles are posted daily, all of them original content that treats our audience like adults instead of peddling outrage. Check out the video below that talks about the brokenness of our two-party system and the mainstream media that gives cover to this sideshow.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- The Great Distraction - July 15, 2019
- There is No Spoon - July 12, 2019
- Capitalism is Socialism for the Uber Wealthy and Suffocation for the Rest of Us - July 8, 2019