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Somebody tell Media Matters!

Lady Poverty writes, in relevant part:

Have you seen how many television channels there are? It's not because people want more of a good thing; it's because you're producing a commodity: you're putting less value into production than you're getting back in, say, advertising revenue. ...

There's money to be made as long as we're putting less into the finished product than we get back in exchange. Last week I saw an ad for some kind of chicken wrap from Taco Bell for $1. My friends, if Taco Bell thinks it can turn a profit off a $1 sandwich, we really need ask why Taco Bell thinks this is so. What does Taco Bell know that gives it the confidence to say that what it is selling you for $1 is actually worth less?

"The news" itself is a commodity. It's not the truth. The most important thing to remember about "the news" as a commodity is the pretense it sustains toward being some kind of objective truth, whether it is "truth from the left" or "truth from the right." You have to think of it as information that has entered the capital circuit -- money put into circulation to produce something of greater value than the sum of its parts -- in order to become something analogous to "The Situation" himself. It should be regarded as an object of inquiry, not a firm basis for making judgments.

Somebody should really tell Media Matters about this novel idea.

Maybe then they'd start critiquing the entire network of news production, and not just the subset that's handled by the conservative wing of the Washington Consensus. Could be interesting!

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gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

Lambert, I went to Lady Poverty (thanks for the link) and noted that you pulled out part of the middle of the first paragraph, included all the second paragraph and then skipped three paragraphs before including the last one. I don't have a problem with editing stuff out to make the point you want to make, but isn't it a standard and important practice to alert the reader that stuff has been left out? Shouldn't every poster put in a (snip) or a ... to indicate the editing? People can take things out of context and create the wrong impression (not that you were doing so here).

Submitted by lambert on

Getting the new server up, and some RL issues, have really been taking a toll. Yes, I pulled out the analytical too I wanted to convey (news as a commodity) from the surrounding context.

Generally, when there are a series of paragraphs quoted, I think the snips can be assumed, but when there are multiple quoted paragraphs that skip material, there should be ellipses to indicate the skips.

So I edited the lead to make sure the cuts were more clear and put in an ellipsis.