How to shoot somebody who out-drew you/The Mogis experiment.
July 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
“In media tent where they spin and they slant, they just foam at the mouth and they chomp at the bit, those blood suckers can wait tell those vultures cool it.” The presidents dead – Okkervil River.
Journalism has got lazy and seedy. There’s no denying it. The most powerful news corporation in the world in under investigation after allegations that their papers tapped the phones of dead children’s family’s and dead solders, payed high ranking officials for confidential information and generally behaved like scumbags. The UK’s highest-selling paper has had to close due to this activity. New information about this scandal surfaces everyday. Pulling the corpse of respectable journalism through the shit. The public think we’re all like that, I don’t blame them. Splash after splash of scandal and scum and invasion of private life on the grounds that it’s in the public interest. But worse than the splash that an F1 chiefs like sado-masochistic orgies was the invasion on grieving families. Hunter Thompson once said before I was born that objective journalism is dead. Objective journalism is something I have never known. Imagine it though. Are we too stupid for it these days? Do we need to be told what to think about events? News Corporation thinks so. Rupert Murdoch thinks so. How did it come to this? I used to be proud, proud to be a journalist, proud to watch the world develop and unwind and be able to tell people about it through the written word, proud that I got to do something new every single day. Not anymore. I’m not proud. They’ve made me feel like those lawyers who smile greedily as they tail an ambulance on it’s way back to a hospital.
There was once, and still is, a satirical news website called newsgrind. They write articles that are supposed to be funny and clever and are in no way meant to be taken seriously. Last year a man called Raul Moat went mad with a shot gun in the North of England. Some people got shot, some people died. While Moat was on the run the police search for him got 24 hour coverage on BBC and Sky News. It was clear that they were both building to some sort of grand finale. Newsgrind wrote an article about how the whole nation was excited about the “shoot-off” climax to the event. About how people everywhere were gathering around their televisions excitedly. All very funny. But, it was picked up by a journalist on a major organisation, who, get this, honestly, put it on that organisations website. Can you fucking believe that? How fucking stupid do you have to be? Fucking lazy vultures.
But maybe this is the turning point. Maybe the sleaze and scum will be washed away in this river of controversy. Maybe they will put new laws in. Maybe Murdoch won’t be able to spin the investigation. Maybe this is the saving grace of UK journalism. Maybe in 30 years a young man will be proud to be a journalist.
So in the name of journalism I am conducting an experiment. A very clever one I must add. To put lazy journalists everywhere into check. It’s one you can get involved with as well. I have changed the Wikipedia article of the very talented Mike Mogis, music producer and guitarist in Bright Eyes. I have changed it to suggest that Mike appeared in the last ever episode of Friend. I have even provided a link on there. The actor looks a hell of a lot like Mogis so it has creditably BUT it is not him. A jot of research will prove this. So I’m going to wait a month or two and see if it surfaces in any interviews. This is a harmless lesson in journalism. Let’s see what happens.
p.s p.s – I was honored today by an email sent to me by one of you concerning some comments by Jann Wenner, editor of rolling stone magazine. If the comments are true then I am truely honored. She said as follows about yours truely –
“That rare breed of journalist who can portray that wild-eyed madness and still maintain the bond of normality with the reader. He finds the edge so the reader doesn’t have to. He has a large set of problems, but so does everyone, that’s what people relate too. And honesty, a breathtaking faith in the readership that all problems are relentlessly shared despite how personal they may be.” – I can feel my head growing already.