The Catch 22 of Journalism

An idea came to me recently and for some reason I felt the urge to follow it to its ultimate conclusion of disappointment. There is a debated scheduled for April 19th between Jordan B Peterson and Slovaj Zizek regarding Happiness: Capitalism vs Marxism and it’s being broadcast live online. The idea that came to me was covering the event for a magazine or some kind of online source. While it has been a while since I have done such a thing, the last I can remember is the series of articles I wrote about my daughter being born and staying in the NICU for 90 days, I realized that things like this are not being covered by the media anymore. I never saw a write up about the two times that Peterson had a discussion with Sam Harris, a sold-out event with millions of views online.
I thought about the historical aspect of magazines over the years and the part they played in cultural events. Rolling Stone once featured writers like Hunter S Thompson and David Foster Wallace. Esquire had the rebuttle to the Buckley and Vidal debate where the men continued their argument in the pages of their magazine. I could go on but let’s be honest and say that magazines played a big role in out culture during the last century.
When I did a little bit of research into what magazines would cover a story like Peterson vs Zizek I was stunned to find none. I knew things had gotten bad but I didn’t think it was that bad. Rolling Stone is now a victim of the click bate bullshit market and I have a feeling it will go the way of the dodo soon. Esquire has become the homepage of the SJW propaganda for men, not real men, just the men who hang out in the crowd and still try to get laid without appearing aggressive about it. Let’s face it they don’t get laid. Maxim is click bate with testosterone. GQ I can’t figure out, it says its for men but more like what women want men to look like while complaining they no longer look like men. The Atlantic, well the Atlantic appears to be real journalism but has never touched the subject of Jordan Peterson.
When I reached out to these magazines the first night was a complete waste of time. I spent an hour writing the query or pitch email and when I hit send I received a reply right away from the Rolling Stone address stating the inbox was full. The Atlantic got back to me but decided they would pass, I wasn’t surprised. With no responses from other magazines I have come to the conclusion that I am on my own.
A part of me can not blame them for this. Recently the New York Times published an investigative piece into the financial history of Donald Trump. The piece took over a year to put together and write. It was the top story for a day, one day. Then Trump tweeted something stupid and everyone forgot. A year’s worth of work had been forgotten before it was really discussed. It’s our fault, and the media’s fault for what is happening. Our brains have become soft, obese things that no longer function as they should. They live on a shitty diet of click bate and victim porn that only makes us more lazy and less likely to think. We have done this to ourselves snacking all day on garbage instead of sitting down to have a meal.
Media has forgotten what made it worth watching. There were talented writers that brought the reader in and hooked them to finish the story asking the question “where are you taking me.” Instead articles are limited to 50-500 word sound bites that only give the reader enough to feel like they know what is going on and in all likelihood giving them a dose of bullshit. In depth reporting is a thing of the past and out society is feeding off the same circle of trash that it once despised. Media is eating itself into a grave.
I have to think that somebody out there is trying to stay relevant and not go down the rabbit hole of fake readership numbers, click bate, and SJW porn that is the new chic. Trends come and go but if you are running adds that appear sexist or patriarchal good luck having those readers come to your page. And if you stop running those adds you aren’t making money. Welcome to the catch 22 of journalism, try to attract your readers while not offending them. Good fucking luck.
Two great minds from opposing worlds are going to face off and talk about what should be the topic of the day. Our next election will likely have a far-right capitalist and a socialist of one form or another. These two ideas are going to be featured whether we like it or not and the country will have to decide which road to take without really thinking about it. The debate that is going to take place is the conversation we should be having but we don’t talk to one another. There was a time when our media would show a side to the public that had not been considered. Stories weren’t just written for shock value but to help the public think. These days thinking is not required and from what I can tell not desired for publication.
Rolling Stone was recently sold and the magazine overwent an overhaul. The biweekly publication changed to monthly and sections changed for the new management. The first cover featured a pregnant rapper and the man who might be her baby daddy. I say might because, well, we know how these things go.
Meanwhile, I have never seen Peterson on the cover of a magazine. A man who wrote a book selling 3 million copies with the idea of personal responsibility A self help book that put the responsibility of the individual in their hands sold 3 million copies, and nobody wants to talk about this. When you built your marketing model around selling victim porn the best thing to do is not sell responsibility or as I like to call it the social condom.
Maybe I should apologize at this point, I didn’t include a number in the title of my article. The subject wasn’t about sex or how men fucked up the world. The story didn’t have an equal number of women in the topic. Instead of focusing on one side the story would have included thoughts from both sides of the debate. The people the article was about have an education and deep background on the subjects they would be discussing. The story was clearly racist because it featured to middle aged white males. Did I mention the two guys are straight?
Our media is fucked and until somebody stands up and says we are no longer publishing garbage it will continue this way. On our end we need to stop looking at the bullshit they are feeding us and demand some kind of real content. I remember a time when writing was a skill not something that could be mass produce from a sweat shop in idea. It is only a matter of time until our news article sound like the customer service rep from a cell phone company. We will see names like John Smith, Jim Anderson, and Mike Dunhill writing our story with stock photos used to show people who are not real. Companies will write articles for women to sell items with titles like: top 10 eye liner colors, the three sexiest outfits to get him in bed, five ways to cook with butter, 1 in the loneliest number so come to match.cum.
I will still write my article. I still have my blog and I love all five of you for reading it. We might not have the media that we want but we do have the media that we deserve.

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