5 Shocking Things I Learned Working in the Mainstream Media
After spending over a decade working in medium-sized cities for different television affiliates of ABC, NBC, and CBS, I came to the conclusion the industry I was in had turned into the vortex of evil, I was not content to spout corporate and government propaganda any longer, and I had to get out. I came to learn the media operates much like the fictional UBS channel in the landmark film Network. Ned Beatty portrays a billionaire media puppet master in the film, and his famous Arthur Jensen boardroom scene frequently comes to mind for me when I think about my years working in television news. After seeing how the media manipulate stories, and how frequently issues are invented out of whole cloth with little factual reality to drive ratings, I could very much see closed door meetings of corporate management playing out much like that scene:
There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and You Will Atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.
I went into the career with quite a different illusion. From childhood, growing up in the country we believed the illusions the puppet masters in the “big city” media were creating. The media’s vision of the world and of our government led us to believe it was all truly a shining city on the hill, and journalists were wonderful people serving the public interest and looking out for the little guy.
Growing up a poor kid, with no connections, no ethnicity, and no money, landing a job as a news anchor seemed like a far off fantasy. Many in high school, including my teachers believed I could never make it. After driving off to college in a broken down car with $800 in my pocket, hitting the ground running in a different state 500 miles from home, often working two jobs, I worked harder than most of the kids at my school and landed an on-air position while in college. Further hard work and sacrifice landed me another job and then another in a highly competitive field. Meantime, I could have been out doing blow off a whore’s ass instead of studying calculus and other tough subjects, effectively sacrificing some of the best years of my life, but I figured the payoff would be worth the sacrifice.
However, I began to become disenamored of the media once I found out the truth about who works in it, how it operates, why it operates, who it operates in the interest of, and how it was treating me. Here are 5 reasons I grew to despise the mainstream media, then struck out to do my own thing.
5. The entire industry is based on a paper-thin illusion
Many television stations are located in the bad part of town, relics of the Golden Age of America and the Golden Age of Television, and a good number are dumps with broken down buildings and shady management. The biggest liars I have ever known are two former General Managers I worked for. The most arrogant, duplicitous men I have ever known are two former supervisors of mine.
In my final year, one former supervisor me aside into the conference room to dissect email replies I had sent him, one of which included a complaint of his about a sesame seed in the floor of our office, and to threaten me. To me, he had a sterling image up until that day. Then I saw who he really was, and as I had seen from day one other talking heads were not living up to their nice guy public image, either.
But that was only one more in a long series of letdowns. The smiling faces that greet you each morning, noon, and night are put-ons. As Shakespeare said, the world is a stage and we are all actors upon it. That famous quote is a perfect description of the television news business.
Then, there is the dark underbelly of the industry. Turnover rates are high, morale is low, and people who work in the industry are often the most evil, vicious people you will ever know but know how to convincingly hide it under a smiling face. (Just like politicians!) Further, many in the industry are unhappy and lonely, sometimes to the point of being suicidal.
A Weather Channel employee’s January suicide, sadly, was not surprising to me and seems typical of an Omega male rampage that we are seeing more of in today’s debased society. The news report stated:
Nicholas Wiltgen died from major head and brain injury after deliberately driving through a concrete wall. Weather Channel meteorologist Nicholas Wiltgen committed suicide, the Fulton County Medical Examiner in Georgia said Tuesday. According to a statement issued by the medical examiner’s office, Wiltgen died Sunday from major head and brain injury, the result of an intentional act of driving a vehicle through the concrete wall of a parking deck. “The cause of death is craniocerebral trauma and the manner of death has been classified as suicide,” the medical examiner’s statement read.
The industry is often a meat grinder, especially for Beta and Omega males who drink the Kool-Aid of the Anglo American cultural narrative. Not surprisingly, management and women step all over smart Betas and Omegas.
Forbes just ran an expose on the April suicide of another television news personality.
This month a young television meteorologist took his life. Meteorologist Eric Sorenson posted a very stirring blog empathizing with Russell Bird and framing how his situation was very similar to many young broadcast meteorologists: in an unfamiliar place, low-paying starter job, and few local friends. This is a side of the glamorous TV world the public doesn’t see.
The reality of the industry does not fit the gleaming image it broadcasts to the world. Since corporate consolidation, 6 corporate goliaths now own 90% of the media, working conditions have deteriorated and the news turned into a cookie-cutter product. TV Spy, a news business gossip rag, used the Sorensen suicide to shine some light on the low pay and low morale that is the reality at most local news stations.
In his post, Sorensen said, “Small-market TV still employs editors, photographers, reporters, and anchors who make less than cashiers at Walgreen’s and cooks at McDonald’s,” says Sorensen. “And I know for a fact that in Rockford, answering phones pays more of the bills than directing an Emmy-award-winning newscast.”
The duplicity of the spinmeisters never ceases to amaze. The official statement lamenting his suicide reads:
Russell was a graduate of Ohio State University and had been with us since last July. He’s remembered as a great weather scientist, and mostly as a great friend to all of us at the station. We will miss the joy he had, on and off camera, every day. We will miss the passion he brought to his work. Most of all, we will miss the man, and everything he was to us. Russell Bird was 27.
I personally know of one television station whose pay was so low for staff members that they were seen in the community using food stamp cards. After a public outrage, what was the solution from corporate management? Give these staff members a tiny raise, just large enough they would be denied benefits.
Before quitting, I was told bluntly my education and credentials did not matter by management. The illusion of the media sold to society has ended not only for those of us who dedicated a good part of our lives to it, but for the public as well.
4. Since the Internet, nobody believes the talking heads anymore
Since communication has become decentralized thanks to the internet, nobody but grey-haired oldsters, dupes, and Kool-Aid drinkers believe anything the talking heads say. Today, commoners like us have a voice equal to that of the once invincible “on-air personalities” at your local news outfit. They can be, and frequently are called out on their lies, half-truths, and misrepresentations. RT, which ironically tells more truth nowadays than any of the American corporate media, released this telling survey:
A survey of more than 2,000 adults showed that trust in the media has dipped to dramatically low levels. About 52 percent of respondents said they have “some confidence” in the press, while 41 percent said they have “hardly any confidence.” Only six percent expressed “a great deal of confidence.” “Over the last two decades, research shows the public has grown increasingly skeptical of the news industry,” the report from the American Press Institute reads.
This does not keep them from further muddying their image with drama over everything from vivisection of local political squabbling to fear mongering in a thinly veiled attempt at creating social hysteria every time there is a thunderstorm in the neighborhood.
3. Sensationalism is what the industry runs on
The media has to create problems to create profit. The industry runs on finding a problem anywhere it can, then exploiting that problem to the max, no matter how many lives or careers it destroys all while looking over their own numerous faults. Most stations would be more appropriately named your “drama” station rather than your “news” station.
Understandably, when an industry has to cater to an audience that is 75% female and majority liberal, the message skews towards pedestalization of women, materialism, consumerism, and Marxism.
The people who populate news rooms are typically case studies in hypocrisy. A perfect example: A news room I worked in used to love to roast local pillars of the community or anyone of note who got arrested for DUIs. However, when a prominent member of our news team got arrested twice in a row for DUIs, the entire issue was swept under the rug. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If people would scratch the surface of many of these journalists, they would find out most of them live in glass houses and yet these deeply flawed news personalities love throwing huge stones around.
2. The agenda is one of Cultural Marxism
Conservative or common sense views are shouted down at the morning news planning meetings. The echo chamber from the elite media in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta sets the tone of what gets covered, how it gets covered, how the issues are framed, and who gets attacked when the talking heads do one of their famous drive-bys.
Even conservative-minded news directors have to bite their lip, bow their head and kowtow to the Marxist agenda being pushed for fear of losing their job. Not only has the remaining television audience been conditioned to only accept ideas which conform to leftist ideology, but the “journalists” have also been conditioned by the education system to skew their reporting towards enforcing this cultural narrative.
What’s more, instead of the cigarette-smoking, hard-nosed, no bull type of journalists the country had in the 1950s and 1960s, the new generation of interchangeable corporate cogs are young, inexperienced, indoctrinated, and usually mushy-headed blondes or those with a chip on their shoulder who are out to strike a blow against Middle America and its evil Caucasian overlords. The accepted politics in news rooms ranges from overt Marxism to Socialism Lite.
1. You quickly learn to watch your back around these people
The newsroom is a huge groupthink shark tank, filled with vicious co-workers who will anxiously throw you under the bus if it means 15 minutes or even 15 seconds of fame and glory for them. Most are Social Justice Warriors or those who conform to leftist ideology. They will swarm and destroy anyone who does not conform to their opinions, such as: Barack Obama is god, the government will bring about heaven on earth once the Evil White Male is destroyed, and anyone who has a grievance against the WASP middle class represents The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed and cannot be questioned or challenged on any of their positions.
Time magazine ran an article confirming what anyone who has worked in this dying industry already knows: Media talking heads hold two of the top 10 places for careers with the highest number of psychopaths.
My recommendation is if you ever have the bad fortune of being interviewed by a talking head over a hot button issue, make sure your record a copy of the entire interchange for yourself. If the “journalist” performs a hatchet job on you using selectively edited clips, as frequently happens, you can use the video to expose the drama queen or drama king. The Simpsons did an excellent job satirizing the tendency of media to exaggerate and selectively edit interviews to support an agenda in the episode Homer Badman. After an extensively edited interview created a scandal based on a false rape accusation, news reporters resorted to stalking Homer. How many times have we seen a scene like this play out in reality:
This is hour 57 of our live, round-the-clock coverage outside the Simpson estate. Remember, by the way, to tune in at eight o’clock for highlights of today’s vigil, including when the garbage man came, and when Marge Simpson put the cat out… possibly because it was harassed, we don’t know.
The image the media present of themselves to the world is one of the hardworking, freedom defending Fourth Estate servant of the public interest. The reality is a group of amoral people with predatory behavior dreaming of persecuting others for any sort of drama or scandal they can sink their fangs into. Most journalists would sacrifice their own mothers if they thought it would bring them a moment in the lime light, all while making assurances they are honest and trustworthy to secure the interview. Remember, any time you are in the presence of reporters, you are swimming with sharks.
In the last few years, 60 hour weeks have become the norm with 40 hours of pay (thanks to employers abusing salaries), verbal abuse by management is common, there is no such thing as a personal life in the city you work in because of social media, and hoping for any future with your employer has become as farcical as the metaphorical carrot and stick. Add to that a bunch of nihilistic, often miserable and duplicitous co-workers and you have quite a toxic stew.
Additionally, while this will never be admitted, one need do nothing more than turn on the television to hear Evil White Male propaganda being disseminated on a daily basis. But that is only the outward reflection of an industry that now actively looks to hire and promote anyone except white males. It is well known, even if it is only whispered, that people are regularly hired and promoted based on nothing more than the ability of managers to check off a box on an affirmative action form. Of course, I was persona non grata because of this.
Combine these facts with the list of 5 things I learned presented above, and it’s easy to see why I walked. It’s also easy to see why I have no respect for 90% of the people that populate this industry. I can count on one hand the number of people who were decent human beings, and all of those were members of the Old School of broadcasting who somehow have survived to 2016. The Social Justice Warrior generation is a toxic waste dump of humanity and vanity.
It should come as no surprise to know that I, and a number of former colleagues of mine have collectively said, “Never again!” to employment in this industry. Now you know some of the ugly realities behind the pretty face business.
Bring on the bitches and blow, I’m going to live the youth I sacrificed for nothing.
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