Sunday, April 13, 2008

Niche Empires

Not to unfairly disparage the feel-good aspect of your typical Bart's People stories, but it's hard to escape the notion that maybe having to live daily with the unspeakable burden of having had Rush Limbaugh's drug-withered nub in one or more of her orifices compels a girl to rebuild her karma. And hey, vaya con dios with all that, really. Everybody could use a little good news sometimes.

But continuing with today's little theme of words and phrases not quite jibing with useful real-world definitions, this jumped out as passing strange:

"In the news business, you have to get picked," said Kagan, ex-girlfriend of another media emperor, Rush Limbaugh.

Another "media emperor"? Look, I hate to get all nitpicky yet again on semantics, but shit, none of those three words has any actual meaning. Starting a website is just that, a nice thing but still not terribly significant. The book and the TV docs add to the portfolio, yet this does not quite an empire make. Although considering how shabbily CNN disposed of her (which seems to be a habit of theirs), her ambition is at least respectable.

And Limbaugh is a drug-addled creep who makes a lot of money calumniating his political opponents and disinforming the rubes that still listen to him, but outside his radio show he's nothing. He's only done a few books, and not for a while at that, and as far as I've ever heard, he owns no other media properties, aside from the website for his own radio show. He's a pernicious stain on the American media landscape, and the hell with him and his empire of dirt. Empires expand and conquer; Limbaugh is merely King Shit of Turd Hill.

These people barely qualify as media entities, in an already hopelessly supersaturated multimedia tableau. And maybe that's for the best; maybe in our new and improved digital age, we can all be emperors of our own little fractal empires, selling this or that trendy pig in a poke to one another. It's good to be king.


Marius said...

Most amusing was her claim that "she believes the mainstream media does a poor job of covering spiritual matters that are an important part of many people's lives."

If there is one thing that distinguishes American media from its counterpart in Europe (at least in the civilized part of it, the West), is that American journalist have no problem reporting with a straight face on the "spiritual" beliefs of people who shouldn't be trusted with a checkbook, much less allowed to vote or be on a jury.

In general, Western European journos know better than to relate the benighted superstitions of the dwindling masses of 'Christians' across the Atlantic. You can say they're elites talking to each other, but in this particular case it works out best for everyone.

Not so in America. One unforgettable moment, for me, was a few weeks ago, when that fairy Matt Lauer did a two fucking hour long "documentary" on that bizarre case of mistaken identity. Both families were said to be "deeply religious", whatever the hell that means. Yet Lauer sat there, impassibly listening to, and encouraging them to relate, how they 'prayed' and 'turned to God for guidance', when it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that, if God exists, he must be a sociopath with a really sick sense of humor.

Is this the kind of "spiritual news coverage" Kagan wants more of? Then she must be even more inexcusably stupid than those two families. At least she went to better schools, I suppose.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, it's that incessant reverential coverage of sheer intellectual boobism that kills me. I mean, if people want to believe in a deity whose idea of amusement is, say, hurling a natural disaster at poor people, and allowing an infant to live while killing its parents, hey, whatever floats your boat.

But no one should pretend that it is anything other than what it appears to be, the cling of desperation and the unavailability of other options. And Matt Lauer seems spectacularly unqualified to ponder questions of theodicy, which I guess makes him as qualified as anyone else in the media.

Belief is always, always relayed in the librul coastal corporate media as being some profound call to duty that can never be questioned, even when its subjects cannot explain themselves in any but the most opaque terms.

Even in those cases, I still think the media weasels are talking to each other, telling themselves, "this is how you handle these rubes, just pretend that every bit of faith-based rhetoric they utter is sacrosanct." You know, "talk about how your faith has sustained you", that sort of shit. It would never occur to them, were they to interview a professed atheist, to say, "talk about how empiricism and rational logic have affected your perceptive and decision-making processes."

They probably giggle about these two-hour(!) feints at faith all the way out to the Hamptons. I know I would.