A Helpful Cacophony of Claptrap

The phrase “cacophony of claptrap” means a loud harsh or strident noise constituting pretentious nonsense. This phrase captures the reality of 21st century “news.”

But why is this helpful?

News is first and foremost a business focused on attracting eyeballs for the purpose of selling advertising. Switch between various news Web sites and television programs and it becomes immediately apparent that the focus is on feeding a self selecting audience what they want to hear and see.

Web sites are an easy place to experience the inherent audience expectation and thus source bias. Review any subset of news Web sites over several weeks and distinguish each based on the issues they tell you are “news” and how long they beat on a particular issue.

Here are a few sites to review as examples:

The evidence is clear that the survival instinct (selling advertising to make payroll) too often dominates even a pretense of journalistic integrity.

The good news is that a broad spectrum of news sources keep beating their particular drum, providing the interested observer opportunity to study bias, seek alternative sources of information, and make up their own mind about the importance or relevance of any particular issue.

Should we tell the publishers, editors, and commentators at news operations that their pretentious nonsense is performing a public service by exposing their comparative bias, or did they figure out on the morning of November 9, 2016 what their readers and viewers already knew?

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