Friday, June 05, 2009

The Myth of the Corporate Media Agenda

We keep hearing again and again how the problem with the media is the "corporate agenda" that they're pushing, which supposedly makes them want to push conservative positions while ignoring liberals. But I think there's a much more obvious explanation for this: They're idiots. They're really dumb, dumb people who are just as dumb as they seem.

Because honestly, what have you seen from Corporate America that would suggest any of them had an attention span beyond the next fiscal quarter? Nothing. Even when their corporate games are collapsing around them, the best they can do is sell their stock a week before the earnings report becomes public. They really are simple people who don't think in the long-term. That's why Warren Buffet's such a genius, because he actually knows what businesses are worth and how they should be run. And this basic knowledge is considered incomprehensible by most corporate dummies.

So why would we get the idea that they have some long-term agenda that they're pushing onto news people. I mean, how dangerous would that be? Wolf Blitzer and Cooper Anderson might not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they do have some level of self-respect and consider themselves to be real journalists. Are we to believe that the corporate suits that own them are really going to tell Blitzer, Anderson, and all these others to be shills and push a particular agenda? Hell, no. All it would take would be for Blitzer to spill the beans and they'd be cooked.

Entertainment News First

No, for as much as there is a problem with corporate control of the media (and I think it's a huge problem), it's the emphasis on profits. It's not that they shy away from real news, but consider entertainment to be their chief service. Because the point isn't to attract hardcore news watchers, as they're an audience taken for granted. No, they're after casual news watchers. People who will watch the news, but only if it's kept light and breezy.

And so they hire phony lightweights to run these shows, because they know best how to attract the entertainment viewers. And again, it's not about finding real news, as real news will sell itself. It's about filling in the space between real news stories, which becomes so self-absorbing that they can't tell the real news from the fake. And it gets so bad that they actually turn off the hard news audience, and can only get them back when something so big happens that even the lightweights recognize it as being more important than the president's mustard.

And this makes so much more sense than the Corporate Agenda conspiracy pushed by so many liberals. Because that puts profits as being a secondary motive, suggesting that these people have long-term goals beyond their bottom lines. And I just haven't seen anything from these morons to believe that they have the capacity for a long-term thinking.

No, it makes much more sense that they believe they're hiring the right people for the job, who unfortunately, are as vapid as the ninnies who hired them. Dummies hiring dummies.

Liz Cheney as Dream Guest

And so that explains why Liz Cheney was on the TV for twenty-two of the last twenty-four days. And also why Newt Gingrich is the most important person in America. Not because some pinhead at GE decided that Gingrich and Cheney were good for pushing their agenda, but because that pinhead hired a fellow pinhead to produce his news shows, who in turn hired another pinhead as a booking agent. And the producer and booking agent are dumb enough that they imagine Liz Cheney is an entertaining genius who helps them sell more commercials.

And once they saw that all the other pinheads were doing the same thing, it just upped Liz's newsworthiness and made it all the more important that they book her again. That's just how pinheads think. They're brainless herd animals who reinforce their own herd instinct. After all, if you make the same mistake the rest of the herd made, then it's not really a mistake (eg, the Iraq War).

Somehow, the concept of having an innovative show that offers something the other shows don't have is so far beyond their understanding that they think it would be disastrous. Lacking the intellect to judge the merits of an original idea themselves, they need for someone from the outside to break-in and show them the way. I'm sure it'll only be another year or two before Rachael Maddow's success finally sinks in and it occurs to them that liberals can be good for ratings. But again, this isn't a conspiracy from the suits above; but rather, a sign of incompetence by all involved.

Oh, and one last point: Can anyone explain how Gingrich or the Cheneys are good for corporate America? I can't fathom that in the least. These people are looking out for themselves, with Gingrich trying to stay relevant and the Cheneys trying to save Dick's neck. Conservatives pushing an anti-tax agenda, I understand. I fail to see how a defense of torture helps GE.


Rick said...

I agree with your overall point, but for just that reason there's nothing stupid about trotting out Liz Cheney. She undoubtedly is a good ratings draw.

Another thing to remember is that the cable 'news' audience skews older, male, and white. Which explains their political skew - right wing plays well to crabby old white guys.

MSNBC is making some effort to pull in a younger demographic, and to counterprogram Fox, but it is still all about the numbers. Rachel Maddow is sharp, but more to the point she is charming about it.

Neil Bates said...

Repeating from WaMo:

Biobrain, I think you're mistaken. Certain policies and focus help the sort of institutions that own media and others don't. Do you really think those owners would be *so* stupid, they wouldn't try to take advantage of their administering news to affect policy, which affects them, and not just the immediate earnings of the current offerings? SecularAnimist [frequent, acerbic, and sharp-witted commenter there] may be repetitive, but s/he knows the score.

BTW, do you know for sure whether you *really are* a "brain in a vat" or not?

Doctor Biobrain said...

Neil - While it seems unlikely that they'd turn down to opprotunity to do such things, exactly how would corporate suits influence the news? I mean, are we really imagining that the Board of Directors of GE gets together and discusses who Joe Scarborough will interview for the day? Why bother? Hiring Scarborough was enough of a slant to begin with. And seriously, are we to believe that they'd turn down better ratings in order to push conservativism? I don't think so. As it turns out, Republicans weren't even good for most businesses. Now, I can understand if some important issue to GE came into the news that they might try some hanky-panky, but to suggest that the corporate agenda behind Liz Cheney's constant appearances isn't solely about ratings; I'm just not seeing that. Nor can I imagine why they'd attempt to manipulate the news at every one of these networks without fearing that one of these reporters, producers, or writers might spill the beans.

My theory is much more simple than that: Idiots hiring idiots. That explains everything so much better.

BTW, that's no vat. That's my home. Please be respectful.