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The "News" Is Content-Free
07-12-2017, 12:48 PM,
The "News" Is Content-Free
The "News" Is Content-Free

<p><a href=""><em>Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p>
<p><em>We're &quot;your&quot; trustworthy news source, even though we're all owned by six corporations or billionaires with political agendas.</em></p>
<p><strong>The &quot;news&quot; has loomed large in The News--a classic self-referential loop in which the media itself becomes its own content.</strong> While the controversy over what constitutes &quot;fake news&quot; and &quot;real news&quot; has itself become &quot;the news,&quot; <strong>the cold reality is all &quot;news,&quot; &quot;real&quot; or otherwise, is content-free.</strong></p>
<p><strong>The &quot;news&quot; is so devoid of content that a simple software program could assemble a semi-random daily selection</strong> of headlines, scrolling banners, and radio/TV &quot;news&quot; reports from a pool of typical &quot;news&quot; stories and insert a bit of context (local highways that are congested, rough neighborhoods where shootings occur, names of local authorities, etc.), and the <em>consumer</em> of &quot;news&quot; would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the randomly generated &quot;news&quot; and the &quot;real news.&quot;</p>
<p><strong>Here's a taste of the <em>Random Content-Free News Generator Application</em> that would produce &quot;news&quot; that was virtually indistinguishable from the &quot;real&quot; news.</strong></p>
<p><em>Traffic is backed up near the (insert the usual congestion point) on the I-XX (local Interstate/highway). (TV/video: show randomly selected video clip of slow-moving traffic). </em></p>
<p><em>A serious accident occurred on I-XX (TV newscasters look somber if the wreck resulted in fatalities.) </em></p>
<p><em>Local Authorities held a news conference to Say What People Want to Hear about (insert hot-button topic): this concern is being addressed by authorities. We've got top people working on this--top people. (Newscasters look serious.) </em></p>
<p><em>A horrific terrorist attack occurred somewhere in the world--insert semi-randomly selected city, with preference given to Mideast and Central Asian war zones and Western capitals. </em></p>
<p><em>Bad weather of some kind is threatening us, or could threaten us shortly. (Insert video clip of flooding, heavy rain, or scorching heat in desert climes, etc.) </em></p>
<p><em>Sports celebrity XYZ apologizes for (choose one or more: spousal abuse, gambling, serial infidelity, public drunkenness, loutish treatment of adoring fans, etc.) while his wife/family/attorney hover in the background. </em></p>
<p><em>Coach XYZ explains why the team lost: the other team made some key plays, we lost focus, our guys/gals gave it their all, but we see some areas of improvement we're going to work on, etc. </em></p>
<p><em>The latest food fad taking the hipster 'hoods by storm is (combine traditional ingredient with an Asian or Indian flavor: kim-chee-flavored watermelon, etc.) </em></p>
<p><em>Somebody graduated (heart-warming story that gives newscasters a chance to smile): insert video of cute kindergartners collecting their diplomas, Grandmother in cap and gown, etc. (An over-credentialed society loves to see graduations, especially of kids, elders and underdogs--supporting the narrative that our meritocracy thrives on piling up credentials.) </em></p>
<p><em>Good news on the economy: insert manipulated official statistic on declining unemployment, higher median wages, rising home values, etc. Alternative report: insert story of an underdog taking ownership of a house for the first time, new food truck serving customers, etc. </em></p>
<p><em>You don't see this every day: insert YouTube clip of person being struck by lightning but miraculously walking away, truck overturning on a highway, spilling huge steel girders, etc. </em></p>
<p><em>More evidence surfaces that Russia Did Something Bad to Us (insert random clip of Putin, Russian missiles, etc.) </em></p>
<p><em>Self-congratulatory advertorial: We're doing a great job here, folks, of investigating what needs to be investigated and reporting what needs to be reported, etc. Count on us for &quot;real news.&quot; We're &quot;your&quot; trustworthy news source, even though we're all owned by six corporations or billionaires with political agendas:</em></p>
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