Wednesday, October 15, 2008

12 Incredibly Lame News Stories That the Media Reported, Instead of the Impending Doom in Financial Markets

Several years ago, economists like Robert Shiller (Yale University) and Nouriel Roubini (New York University) began predicting the demise of the housing bubble and the current credit crisis. Despite the fact that for years noted economists have anticipated the current liquidity crisis, many Americans only recently have discovered terminology such as "subprime loans" and "mortgage-backed securities." I partially blame the media for failing to do their job.

Most major media outlets decided to "dumb down" their reporting over the last decade, to the extent that today, their "analysis" is about as valuable a share of AIG stock. Rather than using their vast corporate resources to scrutinize the reckless activities that would later cause this crisis, most media instead chose to obsess over absolute nonsense. Below, I have listed several news stories that received extensive media focus over the last few years, crowding out vital analysis of the risky economic behavior that created today's perilous economic conditions. I wanted to do it as one of those cheesy "top 10" lists, but I could not decide which items to eliminate!

1. Ashlee Simpson lip syncing. So she cannot sing. Why did that make headline news? That's analogous to reporting that we need oxygen in order to live.

2. Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton. They are spoiled, anorexic, addicted, extremely wealthy, and socially useless. Next.

3. Scott and Drew Peterson. They share more than a last name and alleged penchant for domestic violence: Both of them have probably paid over a year of Nancy Grace's salary.

4. Obama Girl. I am still bewildered that a bouncy, t-shirt clad young woman could receive so much attention during a presidential campaign -- except from frat boys. This ranks as one of the most shameful popular news items of 2008.

5. Hillary Clinton's so-called "tear" in New Hampshire. I cried too -- longing for Walter Cronkite.

6. Ben and Jen. Who cares?

7. Jen and Brad. Ditto.

8. Brad and Angelino. You get the picture.

9. David Hyde Pierce, Rosie O'Donnell, and Clay Aiken "gay rumors"/"coming out stories." Breaking News: 1+1=2!

10. Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith. Blond hair, drugs, money, weight loss, weight gain, endangered offspring, and randomly bizarre behavior. How does this affect me?

11. Reality Show Results. This includes Survivor, American Idol, The Apprentice and all of the others. Who decided that game show results warrant news coverage? Please fire that person! I don't recall seeing The Price Is Right or The Newlywed Show contestants on the news when I was growing up, but maybe I missed something.

12. Janet Jackson's not-even-uncovered nipple. If you can only view "partial-nudity" by capturing a still-shot from a video performance, then it's not worth mentioning, certainly not 1,000,000,000 times. Jackson received more web hits than "9/11" or the "World Trade Center," making "Nipplegate" the most overrated flesh scandal of all time.

What did I leave off the list?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG - that Janet thing was a terrible display -- by the media. What about the Michael Jackson trial and Jessica and Nick?

Good thread.

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