Tuesday, February 3, 2004

This Janet Jackson thing has me pissed off. So I wrote the following, and in a couple days, 7000 or so Millersville students and faculty will read it. And since we have a Communication department (of which I left largely due to the utter disgust I have for our media), I hope to get some nasty letters to feed my sense of self-importance and ego. Muhahaha.

Our media is so insanely worthless. I feel sorry for those graduating from Millersville going into this field. It’s a completly worthless industry. It’s not independent. It’s profit-driven. It’s corporate. It’ll probably get worse if Michael Powell of the FCC gets his way. And noone cares.
Well, let me clarify. If you’re graduating into the entertainment industry to work for CNN, Fox, MTV or some other network, then the media is perfect for you. Celebrity trials (Kobe, Michael), celebrity antics (Janet’s boob), “reality TV,” “consumer journalism” and all like it. I’m sure we all have a need to know about the “sensational” Scott Peterson case or if Kobe really raped that girl. But, if you happen to be one of those who wants to be the next Woodward and Bernstein, you’re graduating college thirty years too late. Sorry. Bummer. Our media doesn’t do stuff like that anymore. They couldn’t be bothered. Janet’s boob flashing on national TV(an outrage sure, but so was the four hour erection commercial shown during the very same Super Bowl and not one complaint has been uttered) is much more important.
You may argue that investigative journalism still gets done. That’s only half-true. Watch your evening news. Those “investigative pieces” are usually about a product that may be dangerous(or not), or a business practice that may be shady (or not), or similar things. Those shows like Dateline almost always show how a bunch of people got themselves swindled. Sure, it’s a shame, even though those people probably had no common sense anyway. Sure, they are investigative. But, for the most part, they are not done by actual journalists. Media consulting firms make a lot of “investigative” type templates, and news stations just plug and chug in the holes. The shift from actually reporting real news to making profits has a lot to do with this, along with various libel suits and coporate mergers and takeovers of news organizations. This happens in newspapers too. As corporations who own the news decide they want to cut costs, investigative departments get sliced out for “human interest” stories. Those same corporations (TV and print) have also cut foreign correspondents and bureaus, thus causing many Americans to have a
general lack of the world around them. And as many of those same corporations get a lot of “corporate welfare” from local, state, and Federal governments, they most certainly don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. Thus, more Janet Jackson boob stories, less stories on the red ink the states are in, or government waste and corruption.
For example: did you know that there is an independent investigatory commission behind the 9/11 Attacks? Did you know that the Bush Administration keeps stonewalling the commission from doing its work? The entire case is a subject for another commentary, but it is atrocious. If you didn’t hear about it, well, it’s not your fault. Our media is fairly worthless. If you did hear about it, good. You’ve been paying attention to the stories often given 30 seconds of copy on the evening news or buried on the back of page A74. I’m not quite sure why the media doesn’t care that the Bush Administration doesn’t seem to care about investigating one of the most horrific events in American
history while using said horrific event for political gain but I suspect all the corporate tax breaks that their parent corporations get from the Federal government that keep them from making such things headline news. Well, that, and our media is worthless too. Remember, Janet’s boob is more important to them.
Pathetic. I want a better media, please. And if you want to be Woodward or Bernstein, forget it. Change your major before it’s too late.

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