“More Real News” is the slogan of the morning news show that my uncle watches every morning.
It frustrates me to no end, this slogan. Mostly because it causes me to have more questions than confidence:
- As opposed to what, fake news?
- As opposed to less real news?
- What qualifies news as “real”? Is it well-loved, like the Velveteen Rabbit?
- Why should I trust you? Charlie Rose and all?
- Your very slogan makes me question your motives.
Brené Brown talks about lack of trust and disengagement. When there is less trust, and less hope in affecting a desired outcome, people stop putting their time and energy into a given system. For example, our political system. Voter turnout is consistently pretty terrible. People believe that their vote makes no difference: so they don’t vote.
I believe our politics and news cycle are engineered to produce a kind of hopelessness, powerlessness, or despair. The 24-hour news cycle, combined with all the fluff and meaningless bullshit out there creates a numbing effect.
- Tom Cruise jumping on the couch! He’s so happy! It’s been ten years!
- Rachel Dolezal pretends to be black! What a faker!
- Last year, it was “Gangnam Style,” or was that two summers ago? (It was 2012. Two BILLION views!)
What does all of this mean for the average American voter? It all means: I have to get the kids to soccer practice and the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Have another beer.
I would like to say something smart-sounding, like, “Thomas Jefferson said that the fourth estate was essential to the running of an effective government.” Something like that. Or maybe, “When journalism fails, the evils of mankind go unchecked.” I don’t know. I need more coffee.
News is more distracting these days.
In other news, my friend Emily posted a fantastic review of Ryan Holiday‘s Trust Me, I’m Lying. My review is over on Goodreads. TMIL is an eye-opener of a book about our media cycle. It’s well-written, and Ryan Holiday is a genius. He blogs over here and sends out book recommendations periodically. Check him out.
I googled “more real news.” 1.9 billion results? Apparently, this is a thing:
Edited to add: Also, I could not for the life of me google the morning tv show from the “more real news” slogan. So I ran upstairs, and looked at what was playing, and it was CBS. The show is called, “CBS This Morning,” which is a snappy name, don’t you think?