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

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Wed Feb 6 14:43:18 UTC 2008

At 09:44 PM 2/5/2008, PJ Manney wrote:

>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?"

This is evident with the death of Natalee Ann Holloway on Aruba.

>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.

True, but from another perspective, I see the opposite.  My father 
was an advertising executive in Manhattan.  As a child to adult, I 
experienced the insides of the advertising business.  What I see 
today is that many advertisers are focusing on gangster rap, South 
Central vernacular, and Hispanic style.  Advertisers are paying 
attention to who is buying the most high-selling products:  food, 
Trucks, mags, and cheap Jewry and cloths.  As these communities grow 
in influence and population, the advertisers are right there watching.

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