“F***book and Twitter, get out of the pool! It is not open swim yet,” the booming voice of the YMCA lifeguard sporting a lampshade is just condescending enough to prove a point, and yet campily overbearing in a municipal park ranger bubble window driving van desert landscape motif creeper sort of way. (No mustaches were harmed in this skit, nor were the perverted arts financially compromised.)
At the onset of the smartphone infused initial act of the information age bracketing the first election apparently not influenced by czarist digital bandits, where society is gullibly comfortable enough and intoxicated through self-validation to bow down to social media as the undisputed overlords of the data highway, the cable news networks have assumed the form of a successful middle aged man still living in his mom’s basement, and for some reason driving that god awful predator vehicle while volunteering at the local gym. While his sales director position of emerging markets at burgeoning electronic PR firm is something to write home about, there is something just a bit off, yet he still resonates with neighbors and members of the community.
Fox News, MSNBC, and please pass the bottle of Wild Turkey, CNN, are still at the forefront of the conversation when discussing America’s obsession and blood lust with everything decadently political as the ratings have been unveiled for November. Startlingly, Ted Turner’s “Communist News Network” exponentially jumped in the annual Nielsen numbers, and nipping at the heels of Fox News through airing a consistent stream of anti-Trump rhetoric bracketed by contrived news, and an audience more inclined to digest an ongoing series of tragic highway wrecks with a Homer Simpson level appetite of sociopathic detachment.
Watch as Homer takes the DUI cottage industry to another level.
Through a collection of anchors bordering a criminal lineup of elitist tipsy drunks locked up at the suburban police station after a night of one too many signature cocktails at the trendy Afghani restaurant, Turner’s empire managed to burst out of a long term coma, and ungraciously surpassed MSNBC to force its way into the conversation with Fox. The disconcerting development is a harsh indictment of Soviet-style propaganda, and a throwback to the network heydays of the middle 2000’s and the oscillating permascowl of Nancy Grace judging anyone and everyone with unfettered hate, and a misguided application of militant feminism specifically adverse towards white male student athlete undergraduates in a guilty before innocent mentality. If CNN can come back from the dead, with the calendar fast approaching 2021, can the final two weeks of the dubious year manufacture some further iteration of hell for society.
Surprisingly, a new challenger for conservative viewership has emerged, as Newsmax, formerly of internet newbie sensation status, has put up some serious numbers in attracting an audience still questioning the results of the election, and conducive to conspiracy theories that sit somewhere between the proselytizations of Elon Musk and the indelible Infowars brand. Positioned as the antithesis to mainstream media, the media organization founded by a colleague of Trump, Christopher Ruddy, has grown steadily in popularity, while the traditional broadcast leaders wrestle with identity issues, and the kowtow to the demands of Fortune 500 advertisers. While Newsmax has managed to direct a scornful mentality towards competitors towards success, will the post-election hangover, and the January blues of foisted Biden pastures stabilize the ratings bounty? While the concept of sanity hopes that the recent renaissance of traditional newsroom viewers is a politically-induced phenomenon, the demographics have clearly spoken, and the world is not quite ready to succumb to a horrific future of biased content aggregator bots pushed in whatever direction down the rabbit hole the tech industry decides.
While journalistic standards have degraded on a linear scale with decaying morals, and the lines between subjective and objective are continuously blurred, entertainment is still the driving force behind the modern newsroom. In disappointing fashion, the media holds the power over the viewer to elicit visceral reactions, and the relentless groupthink approach to sensationalizing politics and Covid-19 has resulted in mass hysteria, and the inability of adults to engage in a civilized discussion over controversial topics. While reality is warped to an unrecognizable vapid paste, the likes of CNN and Newsmax fortify the extremes of the ideological pendulum, and broadcast opinion which is packed as fact, and utilized to forward whatever agenda is currently on the table. In this environment of vulnerability, the assault on the Bill of Rights is allowed to proceed. At least the innovational boundaries have not yet been reached where the viewers have become the viewed, as the factual offspring to the Telescreen are just over the horizon dictated by the realization of Moore’s Law, and a general lackadaisical mentality towards privacy. Stay tuned.
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