No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them know the crucial importance of spin, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to promote media criticism that undermines their own pretenses. To reach the broad public, critics of the media establishment need amplification from . . . the media establishment. And that rarely happens unless the critique is shallow.
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The following are all relevant, fact-based issues, the “hard news” stories that the media has a responsibility to report. But the business-oriented press generally avoids them.
On March 18, 2014 Cass Sunstein released his latest collection of essays, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. Like his other works geared toward a mainstream readership, the prominent Harvard law professor points to numerous alleged dangers posed by even “rational people” who are susceptible to adopting “crippled epistemologies.” What Sunstein fails to explain throughout his most recent medley of gentle authoritarianism is how the “conspiracy theory” term has received vigorous promotion from the editorial practices of certain major corporate news media.
Turkish government officials were caught red-handed in a leaked audio planning a false flag terror attack as a pretext to invade Syria, but the mainstream media completely buried the key aspect of the story and made it all about Prime Minister Erdogan blocking YouTube. For more on the story, see: Turkey Plans False Flag Against Syria; Blocks Youtube, Twitter to Prevent Sharing of Leaked Recording
A Sicilian nun named Sister Cristina Scuccia has become the fastest growing internet phenomenon of all time after performing on the Italian version of The Voice. Sister Scuccia, who stunned judges with her version of “No One” by Alicia Keys, has racked up over 32 million views on YouTube in just seven days. When asked what brought her to audition on The Voice, Sister Scuccia cheerfully responded, “I have a gift and I am giving it to you. Shouldn’t it be this way?”
While cable news’ attempt to exploit missing planes to gain viewers may increase ratings in the short term, the Pew Research Center’s “State of the Media” report doesn’t paint a rosy picture of the health of the industry overall. CNN, FOX and MSNBC have been suffering declining primetime viewership as more consumers turning to online sources for news, while newspapers are shedding jobs in order to stay in the black. With questionable practices by cable news network’s becoming more prevalent, does the industry stand a chance against online media? RT’s Marina Portnaya offers analysis along with Lindsay France.
Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, has been wildly successful, but was working so hard at one point in her life that she found herself sick and burnt out, overworked, and boggled down with things to do. In this interview, she shares some of her secrets of success, which are detailed in her new book “Thrive”, with Marie Forleo.
NCIS and its sibling NCIS: Los Angeles are the top-rated dramas on television, a distinction they have held for several years. What exactly are so many Americans watching—and rooting for—when they tune in for these TV shows? A closer look reveals that both series are uncomfortably akin to a cheering section for the NSA: The shows depict a world in which terrorists planning mass slaughter are under every bed, in which viewers root for the good-looking, wisecracking agents to smash down doors without warrants; in which super-advanced electronic surveillance is used exclusively to protect the public. In the NCIS version of reality, we’ll all die unless powerful government agencies treat the United States Constitution like a big joke.
BBC ‘total fabrication from beginning to end’ of Syria ‘atrocity’. A video of a BBC interview with a doctor in Syria in the aftermath of a napalm-style attack was artificially dubbed to falsely make reference to the incident being a “chemical weapons” attack, a clip that represents “a stunning bit of fakery.”
Readers familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s fiction tend to be surprised and vaguely ill-at-ease when entering the lush textual vegetation of his posthumously published novel THE GARDEN OF EDEN. Begun in 1946 and left unfinished at the time of the author’s death in 1961, THE GARDEN OF EDEN has generated a healthy amount of scholarly debate since its sensational appearance in 1986. Bristling with a new challenge, critics have been drawn primarily to two topics that the text itself foregrounds: the gender-bending theme linking the young writer-protagonist David Bourne to his new wife Catherine in an incestuous love-hate relationship; and the formal characteristics of this oddly “postmodernist” novel which combines Hemingway’s signature realism with intense metafictional experimentation worthy of Italo Calvino or John Barth.