If Bush Can’t Protect America, The Media Will

“NEW YORK – We’ve blamed the state of the nation, and the world, on Bush, Rove, Clinton, Hollywood, gays, and Muslims. New evidence is emerging, however, that the Far Right were, in fact correct. It’s the media who are the problem.

Newsweek has finally proved it. Last week, they were caught selling their European, Asian, and Latin American editions with armed mujahidin and the words “”LOSING AFGHANISTAN”” on the cover. Their USA cover featured celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz and was captioned, “”My Life in Pictures.””

So it’s hard realities for the rest of the world, but then coddle the American people with fluff? What’s on next week: Chocolate is Delicious? Girls Prefer Men Who Wear Deodorant?

LushForLife.com sent its new investigative cub reporter Clark Nova to find out the true criteria used when deciding what is published or aired by the US media.

The media themselves were completely frank. ‘Why should we offer what people don’t want to hear?’ asked a newsman, who asked to remain anonymous. ‘Who wants to hear about losing wars? Only a few masochistic depressives, and they’ll soon be mixing Zoloft with Oxycontin to pass the hours, like I do.’

We convened a focus group of editors of major news publications and networks, and asked them to walk L4L through their process of choosing which stories make publication or airtime.

Moe Horovitz, of Mass Media Monthly: This is quite easy. Next time you buy a paperback in an airport bookstore, look up and you will see a camera. These guide the media, because that’s when people buy what they really read. Then we use the best-selling book formulas to determine our content.

Larry Feinberg, of Mass Media Weekly: People like a situation with a central character whom the reader can love or hate, like some brain-dead woman, Bush, or the people who put the finger in the Wendy’s chili. Then you need some consequences that affect him or her. Like that Foley guy who chases the 16 year old pages and gets his?

Jerome ‘Curly’ Horovitz, of Mass Media Daily: Airport book choices show readers’ emotional needs. They want order in the world. If you shoot up a school, they want the reasons, so we milk it. Life must hold meaning and cause must lead to effect. If you dump a career in football to die in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan, well, that proves that you should respect sporting talent. But if you’re a poor kid who joined the National Guard to get into college, they don’t wanna see you get shot by a mate in Iraq. The public wants Ken Lay in a coffin – people must get some kinda just rewards.

MH: Yep; entertainment, and closure, not deep discussion of confusing issues. Some suspense along the way? What Catholic bastard molested him?… How much did he get from Jack Abramoff?… Ohmigod he spent HOW MUCH company money on his wife’s birthday party?… And then a solid, hopeful ending: Jail, shame, repentance, massive payouts, death, or marriage. A good climax leaves the reader feeling that the story is finished.

LF: If it’s a sad ending, we need it packed with emotion, and catharsis? as unique and compelling as possible. Spiritual integrity. Eternal significance, if possible. The end of days. World War Three. That 9/11 business? that was good stuff. Lots of sub-plots, too.

MH: And the things people love: plenty of dead bodies, serial killers, sex, porn, racial conflict, dysfunctional family stuff, wilderness dramas? and anything where America wins. Even if the subject has been done, it sells well. It helps to have an interesting twist, of course? and a bit of suspense. Don’t find the killer immediately, or the kid lost in the mountains, and take your time tracking the guy who leaked the spy’s identity…

L4L apologizes for the fact that there is no cathartic closure on this story. Our new investigative cub reporter was a passionately idealistic journalism student, and hanged himself after this conversation. Sorry about the lack of suspense. Sadly, he also came from a happy family, and was a virgin who never met Jack Abramoff.

Life’s a bitch sometimes. We suggest that you subscribe to Newsweek for a more satisfying story.

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