trust no one…read everything…good luck!

Forgive. This will be a slightly unfocused meander…

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Just read a DYNAMITE piece on POLITICS DAILY by columnist Emily Miller discussing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER’s breaking of the John Edwards paternity story – and whether the grocery store rag deserves a PULITZER PRIZE NOMINATION this year for its investigative journalism.

I -for one – couldn’t care less what John Edwards was doing behind closed doors with his mistress – and I don’t need politicians to lead spotless, exemplary lives unmarred by any traces of that fickle, messy thing called imperfecttion.

BUT – I am troubled that our so-called mainstream media wouldn’t go after Edwards at the time, the Liberal Golden Boy, with the same focus and ferociousness that it went after Conservative counterparts leading equally flawed lives.

And THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER – for Christ sake – had more investigative gumption to pursue and break the story. In the 1970’s – we had the Washington Post and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.

Now – we have the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

They may be sensationalist and and they may be suspect.

BUT ALL NEWS MEDIA FEELS THAT WAY THESE DAYS!

I’ll often read a headline or a piece in the NEW YORK TIMES that feels like it might have been found in the NEW YORK POST 15 years ago.

I don’t care what politicians are up to in their family lives. I’m too jaded and too cynical to think they’re model people. They’re salesmen. They sell a product – and that product is their persona. It’s no realer than an avatar on an online account. And they’ll keep it unblemished any way they can.

BUT – the populace at large seems to CARE what their politicians are up to.

You want to be a rock-star? People don’t only just accept you will be a philandering asshole – they EXPECT IT, DEMAND IT, and find you more ATTRACTIVE if you are one. Rock-stars who drink bottled water after gigs and go home to their families. Boring!

You want to be a politician in America? Jesus. God help you. The maintenance of my positive media presence alone would drive me to drink excessively, smoke, and sleep with strange women just to alleviate the stress of all the scrutiny – all activities that would severely jeopardize my positive media presence.

I leave it to the experts.

I’d love to be idealistic and think that print media is some noble pinnacle that is protecting the institutions this democratic nation was built on. But they’re all just trying to sell papers. They need to sell papers to stay in business. If print moves completely online – they’ll still need to sell papers.

So – just to review – we have politicians that need to SELL their avatars – and news agencies that need to SELL their papers…and everyone loves to keep that stiff upper-lip of nobility-

-and nobody just comes out and says – “selling is a dirty, dirty business.”

Is THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER a trash tabloid? Sure. At least it casts no illusions about what it does or how it pursues it. There’s a certain purity to its questionable material.

Does it dilute the work of so-called LEGITIMATE news agencies? Perhaps.

But – if it does dilute “real news’s” potency – it had a little help from the LEGITIMATE new agencies themselves.

I say – give them the Pulitzer Nomination and that’ll get us all to CHECK WHAT WE READ AND WHAT WE TRUST a little more carefully.

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~ by saturdaysinthedark on January 21, 2010.

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