Monday, August 15, 2016

Episode 60: Lies, Bullshit, and Journalism

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Humans are ingenuity machines. They like to define things ingeniously, but sometimes for less-than-noble purposes. Or they consider their definitional motives noble, when they aren't.

In Episode 60: Lies, Bullshit, and Journalism, I explore a few new definitions for an old tradition: bullshitting. You can call it "analysis;" you can call it "wisdom;" but sometimes the general term "bull shit" works best. In fact, whereas "wisdom" and "analysis" are terms only applicable based on the quality inherent in the brain droppings being so defined, "bullshit" has the benefit of accurately describing the act of interpretation no matter what the quality might be.

In this episode, I read from "Tweet All About It: From 'user-generated content' to political screeds, the future of news happens to look a lot like the past" by Clive Thompson, an article published in the May, 2016 "Smithsonian" magazine; from Mitchell Stephens' "Beyond News: The Future of Journalism" (Columbia University Press, 2014); and from Robert McChesney's "Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning The Internet Against Democracy." (The New Press, 2013).

I played an excerpt or two from an On The Media Podcast extra titled "How the 'Fake News' Gets Made" where Brooke Gladstone interviews writers from a few of the fake news comedy shows, including one Daniel Radosh, whose observation about bullshit ends this episode. I also trot out the "Making America 'Great' Again!" stinger, with the "great" graciously voiced by C-Realm host KMO.

Musically, I included two tunes from Dumbo Gets Mad, first "Sleeping Over", then "Limbos Village"; one from Podington Bear, "Tuxes"; and my friends singing around the campfire. Julie has the voice. Her husband Rolf shreds on the ukelele. KMFDM backing Tim Bousquet's declaration about the need for journalists to be assholes provides the intro tuneage.

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