Monday, October 08, 2007

Fourth Estate Filler is Anti-News, or "Fark."

Slate has an article about a book by Drew Curtis worth reading. The reason I'm blogging on this is that I just was reading a New Yorker article on Jena by Steve Coll, best known for his Pulitzer book "Ghost Wars" on Afghanistan, in which Coll quotes "one recent study" as predicting that one out of three black males will end up doing "jail time" without identifying the study or comparing it with other studies.

This shoddy sloppy lazy exuse for journalism prevails whenever a writer intends to startle rather than inform. Curtis has a site called which has hundreds of news items that serve as space fillers in print or electronic media.

Due to its high percentage of nutty inhabitants and the presence of Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter, perhaps, Florida has its own section on Curtis's web-site. Due to lightning, hurricanes, exotic wildlife [Florida is the only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators co-habit the same environment, e.g.], sinkholes, not to mention eccentric human behavior and a high media profile, the Sunshine State appears to have as much or more "fake news" as California with its earthquakes, forest fires, Hollyweird antics, etc.

This constant barrage of bizarre studies, polls, questionaires, and academic or scientific "opinion" about upcoming disasters may be part of what Bill O'Reilly is talking about, or one aspect of it, when he rants and rails against the "corrupt media."

O'Reilly has a point that much of the MSM is rotten, and The New Yorker's just the highbrow end of a journalistic community unable to police itself or inform the public in an honest straightforward fashion.

So it employs what Drew Curtis calls "fark."

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