We're All in the Entertainment Business

One of the things that’s always troubled me about news organizations — on television in particular — is that their pursuits of journalistic integrity are funded by and funneled through the same processes as entertainment. They have to compete with the circus to survive, so we should not be surprised when the media often resembles a three-ring hullabaloo complete with gymnastic bears, knife jugglers and men willing to shoot themselves out of cannons for our amusement.

Fox News is shit and Sean Hannity is a horrible person

That the United States has elected a two-bit, illiterate, anal-seepage-hued reality-television narcissist as its president further speaks to the problem. We’re in the midst of a war for attention that’s been mistakenly (though nobly) fought as a war for information.

This is not a new revelation and I don’t have answers. I have an optimism that the will of the people is inherently good and can overcome the agendas opportunists over the long-run.

Where I do have a slightly different perspective to offer is how this juxtaposition of truth versus entertainment rears its head in a lot of industries beyond the news and journalism. It works better if we reliable “truth” as “things of value,” but consider:

I recognize this is a poorly structured thesis. When I pledged to write a blog post everyday in 2017 I was well aware I would not always, or perhaps even often write well. But there’s something here to dissecting the notion that being entertaining has superseded being good or meaningful in a lot of ways. This is perhaps nothing new, but the scale and speed of this development — that is would result in this buffoon being elected to represent arguably the most influential country on earth at the moment — is alarming.

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