Monday, October 10, 2011

Too Smart For The Job

You may have heard how Bill O'Reilly thought that the tides proved the existence of God because they cannot be explained. What you may not know is that when his listeners wrote in and explained that the tides are caused by the moon, not God, O'Reilly, rather than admitting he was perhaps out of line, instead compounded his error by just moving on to what he thought was the next unexplainable thing. "So how'd the moon get there? How'd the sun get there." Pretty wild. Watch here.

This guy has the top rated cable news show in America. One might think that this is strange. You might expect that the top rated cable news show would be headed by someone that isn't so ignorant. But I don't think we should be surprised.

Corporate sponsored media is naturally going to prefer that certain stories, even if they are important and even if the public would want to hear about them, will not be discussed. You'd have to be a real cynic to know of the stories and intentionally focus on irrelevant tripe in order to distract the masses. That's not easy. It's also not going to work to have producers tell hosts what stories they can cover. You can't go up to O'Reilly and say "Don't tell viewers that the Taliban repeatedly offered to hand over Osama bin Laden. That would make war less likely and we want war." O'Reilly would be indignant and would probably talk about the Taliban's offers under those conditions. O'Reilly sits where he does because he demonstrated that he's the kind of person that doesn't talk about the wrong kinds of stories. He has the critical blind spots. People like that are more likely to have other, non-critical blind spots. Sometimes those can be embarrassing, but it's worth it.

I call Bob Dutko and it's constantly a matter of making him aware of critical things. He has a real problem with terrorism, especially the 9-11 terrorism that killed 3,000 people. What about the terrorism in Nicaragua that killed 40,000? He's vaguely familiar with it. What about the fact that single payer health care has been supported by the public by overwhelming majorities for decades? Can't be true. He's never heard of OBL's letter to America where he spells out the motivations for his attack.

I think the same is often true of major corporate sponsored media. Terrorism against Cuba? Never heard of it. Afghan convoy of death? Never heard of it. COINTELPRO? Never heard of it. Oil spills in Nigeria or the Amazon? Never heard of it. Nurse Nasiriyah? Never heard of her. Saddam's peaceful withdrawal offers in 1990? Never heard of them. Iran's full cooperation on nuclear weapons offer? Never heard of it. Well yeah you've never heard of it. If you had your chances of working here wouldn't be so good.


HispanicPundit said...

Alternative news media is out there. I am curious Jon - how do you explain the fact that it doesn't have higher ratings?

Take KPBS or the BBC. It's regularly on TV, everyday. Yet it's ratings are in the tank.

Your take?

Chad said...

Although not an O'Reilly fan it is no shock that his show is #1 - every single Fox show in its time slot is #1. For goodness sake's the 16th rated Fox show running at noon daily has more viewers than the #1 Lefty show in Maddow in Prime Time.

And the alternate options keep coming HP - Like GBTV by Beck - do you realize that Beck already has more viewers via the internet than Olberman has in viewers on TV?

His new series The Liberty Treehouse for kids is awesome - I highly recommend paying the $9.95/month.

Jon said...

What's KPBS? BBC is foreign, but also corporate backed, right? So I don't think their poor performance shows anything one way or the other. I imagine people aren't as interested in news that focuses more on events of another country.

Beck is a strange animal. When I saw him on CNN I thought he was surprisingly anti-corporate, and I thought he'd get canned, which he did. He's picked up by Fox and I thought his ratings were quite good. I think he suffered a brief dip and they just canned him even though overall his ratings were awesome. I'm not saying I follow this closely so I could be way off, but why do they fire a guy like Beck when his ratings are awesome? Ratings aren't the issue. The issue is pleasing the owners (mega corporations) and advertisers (mega corporations). What pleases them? Profits, not ratings.

You can threaten profit from both the right and the left. You guys know my views and how they are a threat to profits. Same can be true from the right. Mega corporations like big government, namely government that serves them. They want government to be small when it serves the poor and regular people, but huge in service to corporations. Beck does sometimes criticize big government even when you are talking about big government that serves corporations, so that isn't necessarily part of the Fox agenda. They're hard on Ron Paul at Fox for the same reason.

Paul said...

The video stops at 2:37. Please repost. I am dying to see it all!

Paul Pearson

Vijaya said...

Afghan convoy of death ..... wow. That explains all that unexplained hostility that rest of the world began to show towards us around that time. I did not know about that documentary.