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You know these headlines – they’re the ones that get clicked nearly as much or more often than the ones that actually matter. And that’s why major online news sources, such as Huffington Post (where I ganked those links from), CNN, Fox News, USA Today, and more are starting to look more like TMZ and Seventeen magazine than trustworthy sources of community, national, and international happenings. This trend has slowly blown up in our faces as the corporate warthogs who pull the levers have realized, “Hey, wait a second… a lot of idiots read the news, too!” And because idiots outnumber the rest of us, they’re paying the bills.
As it was so brutally – and hilariously – pointed out in the recent Anchorman 2, ratings and clicks are all that matter when an organization runs on cash and has gotten too big for an ethical approach to win out without tapping out. No one person controls anything and so everyone can look the other way. Same old story. However, we haven’t been totally steamrolled yet. Some sources, such as the New York Times and BBC News are still relatively safe. The Daily Show has figured out how to merge entertainment and real news quite cleverly. But eventually someone in England is going to realize that a convoy under attack in Sudan is less interesting to the average yokel than Selena Gomez’s armpit wrinkles, they’re going to tell New York, and it’ll all come crashing down.
And if it isn’t stupid non-stories, it’s half-stories with sensationalist titles that complete mislead the reader. Huffington Post is notoriously terrible with this – it’s almost like they’re trying to sandbag their own site statistics so they can browbeat us with “The 7 Worst Places to Retire in America,” even if we don’t care. What’s sad is that HP, as many affectionately refer to them, do a fantastic job in the hard news area and have helped many important, regional stories hit the prime time. This is a war we’re fighting, and here’s what it looks like:
Why ‘Plus-Size’ Models Aren’t Actually Plus-Size
Plane Crash At Colorado Airport Leaves 1 Dead
Does Gwyneth Paltrow Have A Tattoo?
That, my friends, is what you call a %$! sandwich. And it’s not necessarily clear who’s fault it is. It’s just clear that it sucks.
by Johnny Beaver