Low-IQ news org targets millenials, 76 million strong: In this morning’s New York Times, Ravi Somiya reports on a recent spate of bogus reports which went viral in on-line “news orgs.”
Why do “news orgs” rush to print these brainless, bogus reports?
At several points in Somiya’s report, horrible chasers of mammon pretend to explain. We don’t mean Ryan Grim:
SOMIYA (12/10/13): [E]ditors at these sites acknowledge frankly that there are trade-offs in balancing authenticity with the need to act quickly in a hyperconnected age. “We are dealing with a volume of information that it is impossible to have the strict standards of accuracy that other institutions have,” said John Cook, editor in chief of Gawker, which highlighted the essay on poverty, by a woman named Linda Tirado.Our Gawker readers are pretty sharp, the inventive Cook seems to be saying.
“The faster metabolism puts people who fact-check at a disadvantage,” said Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post, which reposted the fictional airplane tweets, the letter to Santa and the poverty essay. “If you throw something up without fact-checking it, and you’re the first one to put it up, and you get millions and millions of views, and later it’s proved false, you still got those views. That’s a problem. The incentives are all wrong.”
But Mr. Cook says he thinks that readers can tell which content is serious and which is taken from the web without vetting. “We assume a certain level of sophistication and skepticism of our readers,” he said.
BuzzFeed, like some other sites, relied on updates and news stories to correct its previous reporting on the Mr. Gale’s story. (Its follow-up story drew more than 400,000 views.) But the site must continue to cover the frantic conversation of social media, said Lisa Tozzi, the news director at BuzzFeed and a former Times editor. This is because it “is where our readers are living,” she said. “Our readers are seeing all of this stuff and I feel like there’s an expectation that we are reporting on the culture they’re living in.”
Forgive us if we doubt that! If they’ve been quoted fairly, we’d say that Cook and Tozzi have been feeding stupid shit to the rubes and are looking for ways to justify their conduct.
But then, this money-grubbing behavior virtually defines the culture of the modern post-journalist “press corps.” For another apparent manifestation, consider one more report by Salon.
This morning, Salon assails the senses with its latest pointless puddle of piddle. The photo-festooned piece in question runs under this description:
Millennials strike back: No, we’re not just whiny babies!Are millenials “just whiny babies?” We’ll admit we’d never heard that! Then too, we don’t waste our time with brainless treatments of the ways the “generations” can be alleged to exist and to differ.
Stop railing against helicopter parents, or saying 20-somethings can't handle stress. The truth is far more complex
TIM DONOVAN AND WILLIAM GUIDA
TUESDAY, DEC 10, 2013 07:43 AM EST
Do the generations differ? In a sense, but not as such! That said, it’s always fun to go there.
This is the way today’s ardent screed begins:
DONOVAN AND GUIDA (12/10/13): How do you make fun of a highly tech-savvy demographic while trying to dodge the inevitable backlash? Simple: you couch your criticism in terms that seem to come from some other place, while eventually circling around to mark your real target. Brooke Donatone followed this formula to the letter with a recent article at Slate titled “Why Millennials Can’t Grow Up.” Rather than write just another screed about millennials’ legendary self-obsession, Donatone chooses to hurl invective at “helicopter parents,” and their supposedly deleterious effect on the mental health of their millennial children. This rhetorical flourish is little more than a fig leaf for what is fundamentally just another crude hatchet job against roughly 76 million Americans.Are millennials legendarily self-obsessed? We had never heard that.
Then again, we can’t exactly tell you who the millenials are. Who wastes their time on this generational crap, unless they are self-obsessed?
That said, we’ll guess the millenials include the “20-somethings” cited in today’s headlines. We’ll also guess that Salon’s older, massively overpaid brain trust made a conscious marketing decision at some point in time:
They decided to target those 76 million souls as part of their site’s aggressively dimwitted overhaul.
As a result, we get silly, navel-gazing pieces by a succession of underdeveloped 20-something not quite writers. (Other people can’t tell that I’m gay! I drove all around the Midwest!) The latest example is the pitiful shit about the fact that we the millenials really are not self-obsessed.
As with Cook and Tozzi, so too here. Potemkin “news orgs” shovel this shit at dimwitted targets as part of a marketing move.
By the way:
How cynical will Salon be as they throw this feed to the herd? Forget their famous click-bait headlines. Consider the click-bait photos they run with today’s piece.
By all accounts, Zooey Deschanel is plenty “cute.” Her name doesn’t appear in this silly piece. But out in its listing of articles, Salon is running her photo to get you to click on its work.
Also pictured: Mark Zuckerberg, Mindy Kaling. They aren’t mentioned in the article either!
We’ll use a term we never use, a term of which we don’t approve. At the new Salon, the “whoring” is general. But then, the chase after Mammon defines the vast sweep of our failing, post-journalistic “news” culture.
Who is Mindy Kaling: According to the leading authority on her life, Mindy Kaling “created and currently stars as Mindy Lahiri in the FOX sitcom The Mindy Project.”
Go figure! This morning, her photo is used to prove that 76 million people really are not self-obsessed.