My 40-year war against the media
I’ve been in the business of smashing false idols since 1982, when I published my first article for LA Weekly.
Medical idols, political idols, cultural idols.
This piece offers reasons why. It’s a patchwork quilt of excerpts from past articles, plus new material, including fiction/satire, which by the way is one of the strongest weapons a writer has. And one of the most feared weapons, IF there are still readers who can READ and think.
Here we go.
The elite television news anchor is not a person filled with passion or curiosity. Therefore, the audience doesn’t have to be passionate or filled with curiosity, either.
The anchor is not a demanding voice on the air; therefore, the audience doesn’t have to be demanding.
The anchor isn’t hell-bent on uncovering the truth. For this he substitutes a false dignity. Therefore, the audience can surrender its need to wrestle with the truth and replace that with a false dignity of its own.
The anchor takes propriety to an extreme: it’s unmannerly to look below the surface of things. Therefore, the audience adopts those manners.
On air, the anchor is neutral, a castratus, a eunuch.
This is a time-honored ancient tradition. The eunuch, by his diminished condition, has the trust of the ruler. He guards the emperor’s inner sanctum. He acts as a buffer between his master and the people. He applies the royal seal to official documents.
There are other reasons for “voice-neutrality” of the anchor. It conveys a sense of science. “We did the experiment in the lab and this is how it turned out.” Therefore, the news is objective.
Media are now very serious.