[ExI] [wta-talk] LA Times: Unlimited space for untold sorrow

PJ Manney pjmanney at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 03:44:54 UTC 2008

On Feb 5, 2008 7:11 PM, J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com> wrote:
> Your analysis of this is backward.  The news reports the extreme and
> unexpected, not the mundane reality.  That is the nature of news
> reporting. Everyone knows hispanics and blacks are victims of homicide
> every day in Los Angeles -- that is the mundane reality.  The whole
> "good-looking, young, blond, white chick" fixation of the news is
> precisely because it is relatively unusual, as supported by the very
> statistics you posted.


> Of course, some of it is selective reporting.  They never seem to
> develop an obsessive fixation on the ugly white girls.

This is my point, exactly, but you misunderstand how news works on the
psyche.  It is not reality.  It is spectacle.  But it is also a fear
mongering tactic to garner ratings.  When do ratings spike?  When
people are afraid and watch the news to see if they will be all right.
 If they can make you believe that pretty white blonde girls get
killed willy nilly, then you (assuming you are white yourselves) will
look under your bed at night, afraid of the bogeyman.  That creates a
feedback loop of viewership.  "Any more news about that pretty white
girl?  Did they catch the guy?  Am I or my family next?"

Also, no advertiser wants to pay for news about poor black or brown
people.  They don't buy the advertisers' products.  Advertisers want
news (and if it bleeds, it leads) about white, potentially prosperous
people, who watch the news for stories about themselves.  And
advertisers run the networks and the press.  Not the other way around.


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