I’m getting increasingly annoyed at the amount of times the media is blamed. From Trump saying “I have never seen more dishonest media, frankly than the political media” to liberals labeling any news they disagree with as “fake news,” no side of the political aisle is innocent of the blame-the-media bandwagon. These complaints are ridiculous and I think it stems from a lack of understanding of the simplest of business concepts…the customer is king.
The more people that view, listen, click and download what the media is producing the more advertising it can sell and the more money it makes. In light of the fact advertisers pay more for more eyeballs, it behooves the media to deliver the content its customers seek.
For the same reasons there are traffic jams on the side of the road where the accident didn’t occur, the media knows we like our news and information full of violence and as graphic as possible. That is why the old adage “if it bleeds it leads” is the first rule in the production of the nightly news. One that blames the media for this phenomenon forgets the simple fact that they are only doing their job by giving their consumers what they demand. If more people tuned into the heartfelt story of the three-legged dog at the fire station, they would lead with that. So we only have ourselves to blame if are unhappy with our selected provider of news and information.
Speaking of blame, NBC was caught doctoring a 911 recording to make it appear like George Zimmerman (the man who killed Trayvon Martin) was a racist. Perhaps Zimmerman was a racist but doctoring the recording is unconscionable for a news station. NBC ratings are about the same now as they were following the revelation that it produced fake news. In other words, NBC was just providing the type of news its customers wanted and that was for Zimmerman to be a racist.
With so many options to choose from and the polarization of politics, people are increasingly gravitating to news and information providers that agree with their point of view. Accordingly, a story about the IRS scandal will undoubtedly be like serving red meat to the average Fox viewer and cause the MSNBC viewer to change the channel.
Another example of media altering the news to serve their clientele is the subtle use of certain words. On Fox News troops in Iraq were frequently referred to as “allied forces,” whereas on NBC they were called “occupying forces.” I believe “occupying” was a gross mischaracterization of our presence in Iraq but to the average NBC viewer I’m sure “allied” was the more improper adjective.
So the list is endless of news purveyors providing the type of news their customers demand. There is also an endless amount of people blaming the media. What a waste of time and effort…put your finger down and turn the channel for Christ sake.