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Media Now Described by Matt Taibbi: “Our target reader now is a rage addict”

[ Via ye olde  Substack TK News by Matt Taibbi]

A reporter I knew in the nineties had a similar joke about newspaper editorials. He said there were five op-eds: Crossroads moment, Seismic shift, Reach across the aisle, Cautiously optimistic, and One thing’s for sure, time will tell.

In the eighties and nineties and early 2000s, punditry was so formulaic, you could spot future stars just by scanning the newsroom for the person least inclined to original thought. One glance at David Brooks or Thomas Friedman had editors thinking, kerching!

A few of us were embarrassed to be pulling paychecks for work this crude — even the proudest blowhard cringes after writing “Concerns mount” for the fiftieth time, and I speak from experience there — but the shame was tempered by the fact that journalists as a group tended to be broke, drunk, and able to laugh at themselves.

This is changing. As we saw this week, the intramural disputes  in the sandbox we used to call the liberal media have become comically, insanely toxic. The ongoing spat between Cenk Uygur’s The Young Turks and comedian Jimmy Dore — which saw Uygur accusing Aaron Mate of being “paid by the Russians” and finger-flipping co-host Ana Kasparian threatening to out Dore as a sexual harasser — has been freakish to follow, recalling Sinaloa chainsaw videos or the girl-scout-on-girl-scout bar brawl epic in Airplane!

For ages the joke about media beefs was a variation of Sayre’s law about academic politics, i.e. they’re vicious “because the stakes are so low.” This dynamic is different. People are trying to destroy each other. They’re flinging career-ending epithets like traitor, racist, and abuser across cyber-space in the sincere hope they stick.

Our target reader used to be the person sipping coffee at a moment like the present, a cool Saturday morning, lazily turning pages as birds chirped outside the window. Our target reader now is a rage addict who read this morning’s news five times over already last night, furiously scrolling through a phone for “receipts” to fire back at some troll on Twitter… wait, that was me.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tom Hyland January 9, 2022, 8:25 AM

    I regularly visit the comic strips for a condensed bite-size burst of flavor to summarize the issue of the day. Ben Garrison has been a devotee to everything Trump but recently declared Donald’s vaccine-brag as a traitorous flaw. That was last week. Here’s this week and Garrison has illustrated a very fine rant regarding the January 6th temple of worship. https://grrrgraphics.com/remembering-january-6th-and-the-stolen-election/

    • Kevin in PA January 9, 2022, 9:02 AM

      Politics is all performative now….perhaps it has always been.
      I agree with you about Trump, Tom. So many things that he did were beyond stupid and then to come out and take the booster, not pardon Assange and Snowden, those were the icing on the cake.
      The MAGA Movement however, is alive and well and larger than the man.
      Trump is too old to run in ’24 and should now be viewed as the catalyst for waking up a lot of people as to how very rotten things are in the District of Criminals. For that, I thank you, Donald. Now take the money that flows into your coffers and use it to help fund the real fighters in every state.

      The Garrison toon is spot on.

      • John the River January 9, 2022, 12:02 PM

        Got an envelope in the mail. President Trump’s name on the outside. His picture boldly placed center top of the page inside.. . President Trump needs you to HELP!
        Much smaller font, farther down, Republican National Committee.

        No pre-paid return envelope came with it though. Just as well, I think I’ve used up all my “Trump 2020” bumper stickers; I’ve been mailing them to the RNC every time they send me an appeal for money.

        • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 2:52 AM

          A man who donates to the Republican National Committee in the hope that things will get better is like a man who daily smashes his own face with a hammer hoping he will get better looking.

      • TrangBang68 January 9, 2022, 2:36 PM

        Gotta agree, Trump refusing to admit the clot shot was a mistake disqualifies him from running again

        • santo_tuco January 10, 2022, 12:02 PM

          after all the moaning and groaning you’ll all be voting for him.

          • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 12:14 PM

            “Groaning and moaning” I hope means critiquing Trump and not you confessing your antics on your honeymoon. Complaining about a presumed political candidate and having a swell time with a fresh wife is normal. Just don’t mix them up, ok?

  • James ONeil January 9, 2022, 9:00 AM

    The slow death of journalism started long before but the corpse really started to stink when reporting, which was finding answers to the who, what, when, where, queries was replaced with ‘reporters’ microphones in hand, stating something happened and so and so did something or didn’t do something asking the nearest convenient person of color, or damp flood victim, or, or,or “…and how did that make you feel?”

    • Kevin in PA January 9, 2022, 9:04 AM

      It’s all about feeeeeeeelings in the brave new America, Comrade.

    • james wilson January 9, 2022, 12:47 PM

      The death of journalism began with the rise of credentialism. The great journalist were people, not puppets trained in schools of journalism. A journalism degree should be as esteemed as a black studies degree, and now it largely is.
      Garet Garrett owned a third grade education. There were many others. A man became what he was though talent, ambition, and the long and challenging process of finding his way. He did not owe, or repesent, a class of others.

      • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 1:00 AM

        Yep. No more Mike Roykos. Now the media are filled with soft soibois like Chris Hayes. The media’s sole concern has nothing to do with news and everything to do with talking to each other. Watching them on some chat show is like watching a lunchroom full of 8th grade schoolgirls.

  • Richard January 9, 2022, 9:11 AM

    Our target reader used to be the person sipping coffee at a moment like the present, a cool Saturday morning, lazily turning pages as birds chirped outside the window.>>>

    Pretty much describes how I spent most Sunday mornings. A pot of coffee and the Chicago Tribune. Eventually, the “World’s Greatest Newspaper” became unreadable and I cheerfully cancelled my subscription after taking it for many years. That was more than 20 years ago. It will never find its way into my house again.
    Attempted to post on previous thread. For whatever reason it didn’t make it through the ether. Still germane and on topic.


    • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 1:02 AM

      I haven’t picked up a newspaper in more than 40 years. Haven’t watched tv for just as long. My life is cleaner and better therefore,

      • James ONeil January 10, 2022, 1:01 PM

        I’m still reading a local paper, catching up on the local news here atop the world.

        The issue I’m reading today was published 6 February 1911: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn96060002/1911-02-06/ed-1/seq-1/

        • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 1:42 PM

          You have a bit of catching up to do—or not. An old acquaintance told me that if he were buried in the ground for 20 years with only a Bible, that he would emerge and be able to recite the latest headlines. I have spent at times an entire year away from the “news”. When I returned the issues and “breaking news” were exactly the same. Truly “there is nothing new under the sun.”

  • Tom Hyland January 9, 2022, 9:45 AM

    Want some rage? Want to appreciate some good sensible outrageous rage? This is Harry Vox describing the swift death of Dr. Dmitri Ndina, a pharmacist in Tennessee who took his first and only clot shot early December, hospitalized December 7th, DEAD December 20th. Enjoy…. rage….

  • ed in texas January 9, 2022, 9:49 AM

    The last time I had a newspaper subscription, it was primarily to get the cartoons and the week tv listings. (They were almost giving it away to boost numbers.)
    This shows how long ago that was.

  • Tom Hyland January 9, 2022, 11:14 AM

    I posted this a couple of hours ago but it never appeared. So I’ll try again. Want to witness an outrageous rage? This is great stuff….. Harry Vox describing the immediate death of a 1st time vaxxed pharmacist in Tennessee, he took the Pfizer jab. Got vaxxed first week of December, hospitalized December 7th… DEAD December 20th. This is rage. Enjoy. https://www.bitchute.com/video/6Ozra6RB3iml/

  • ghostsniper January 9, 2022, 2:18 PM

    The media no longer exists in the US for the most part.
    Slowly, over time, it was replaced by something else.

    For the past 20 years or more the high school guidance counselors have been stuffing the colleges with people that can barely read and add using every sort of financial tool they can find. The counselors know by way of the students scores and records that a high percentage of these high schoolers have no business being in college and are incapable of taking on the sort of courses that lead to worthwhile careers. So they stuff them into meaningless courses like modern journalism, which is not journalism in the traditional way at all. All my sisters airhead daughter could think about was getting a job at Huff-Po when she shipped out to college in NC. 3 months later she was back home, expelled, hooked on drugs, and pregnant and now 5 years later she is still working as a bar maid.

    • santo_tuco January 10, 2022, 11:49 AM

      There’s a song there somewhere. Lemme work on it.

  • steveaz January 9, 2022, 5:13 PM

    The 24-hour news craze helped to kill journalism, too. It ratcheted up the tempo of the broadcast too high.

    Sometimes there is just no news. But they continue to blah blah blah to fill air time when they should just shut-up. This talking when you have nothing to say makes you look stoopid.

  • Tom Hyland January 9, 2022, 6:20 PM

    In my defense… I don’t watch TV. However, a friend told me to view the Donald Trump hit-piece aired today on CBS Sunday Morning. These freaks are in a rage. This is 12 minutes of relentless bile which comes off so childish, but posing as grown-up authority, everything you’d expect from a CBS production, that it’s proof the normies are scared shitless of The Donald. The election was stolen. What happened to that Maricopa recount? Anyway, give this a spin. CBS certainly did.

  • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 1:05 AM

    Using the media to get informed in like drinking urine to quench your thirst.

  • Zaphod January 10, 2022, 1:15 AM

    Ah.. Tom Friedman.

    One of the milestones in my political awakening is the memory of sitting in a Bangkok Starbucks and googling ‘Tom Friedman is a moron’ to see how many search results. Can’t remember what column of his I’d just read. Mainly just feel ashamed that it took me so long to get to that day.

    • Mike Austin January 10, 2022, 2:40 PM

      Friedman is the official catamite of the Chinese regime. He does for it what Kamala Harris did for Willie Brown. He is well paid for his services, and he never complains. He is the perfect fellatrix; a well practiced twink. And what is quite obvious is that he enjoys his responsibilities immensely.

  • Lily Lowe January 10, 2022, 12:35 PM

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