Matt Taibbi finally “loses it” re: popular media:
I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can’t have “news,” because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday, and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday. It will be news when she stops being an idiot, and we’ll know when that happens, because she’ll have shot herself for the good of the planet. Britney Spears cutting her hair off is the least-worthy front page news story in the history of humanity.
Taibbi goes on to detail the kind of stuff that should be newsworthy – most notably who benefits and how much by the proposed elimination of the Estate Tax, and what programs will be cut to pay for it. He closes:
Here’s the thing about the system of news coverage we have today. If the Walton family, or Lee Raymond, or the heirs to the Mars fortune actually needed the news media to work better than it does now, believe me, it would work better. But they have no such need, because the system is working just fine for them as is. The people it’s failing are the rest of us, and most of the rest of us, apparently, would rather sniff Anna Nicole Smith’s corpse or watch Britney Spears hump a fire hydrant than find out what our tax dollars are actually paying for.
Shit, when you think about it that way, why not steal from us? People that dumb don’t deserve to have money.
If enough people vote with their remote controls (or dollar at the newsstand), we can get the kind of media we need. Right now, we are getting the kind of media we deserve.
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