Are the majority of journalists liars or just plain stupid?

US idol more popular than the president

US pop show victor attracts more votes than any president

The pop idol with more votes than any president

These were the headlines I saw on various stories around the world. Seeing these immediately sparked a question in my mind.

Are these journalists as smart as your average rock or are they just sensationalist lying assholes attempting to preserve their jobs?

The whole point behind the American Idol vote-a-thon is that you dial the phone number of your favorite as many times as your fingers can handle.

While there is certainly evidence to the contrary in the last US presidential election, generally the idea of a democratic election is one person, one vote.

What the hell? Does anyone reading these articles actually believe this tripe? Believe that the numbers of participants in the two types of voting can be usefully compared?

This is a television show that has inspired an entire market of auto-dialers for voting for your favorite contestant.

I’m left with only two conclusions:

The reporters writing these stories are irresponsible, lying, authors of fiction that care nothing about journalistic integrity and everything about drawing eyeballs and/or the average reader is so bloody stupid as to be buying into this crap, thus maintaining the market for such garbage.

Either conclusion leads to a anger with clouds of doom.

Stop. Please. Just stop.



7 Responses to “Are the majority of journalists liars or just plain stupid?”

  1. Matt says:

    This idea came from the show itself, Bill: host Ryan Seacrest mentioned it during the two-hour finale, which will probably come out as the single highest-rated program of the season. They didn’t think it up on their own, they’re just repeating it.

    (Olbermann pointed this out tonight on Countdown.)

  2. Jim McCoy says:

    Ummm…. the first statement (“US idol more popular than the president”) is debateable, but given the current polling numbers for the president I would not bet against it. The second two statements are true. They state that the winner of American Idol received more votes than the president, which is technically correct. The lines you quote do not make the claim that more people voted for the winner of this particular contest than voted for the winner of the last presidential election.

    A semantic quibble, perhaps, but it probably reveals that these journalists, looking for a sensational headline that passes muster with the copy editors, are both more truthful and more clever than you give them credit.

    It is also worth noting that every one of those votes actually cost the voter real money, which is a larger transactional cost than voting in an election…

  3. bbum says:

    I knew both of those points going into this.

    That Seacrest would say something that reporters would repeat without a hint of sarcasm certainly raises a question in regards to their journalistic integrity. Seacrest is little more than a talking bobble head as far as his roll on AI is concerned.

    As per the headlines — being “technically correct” when the underlying claim is utter bunk does not a good headline make.

    Hell, it is like claiming that Carbon Dioxide is actually really good just because we exhale it. Oh, wait… bastards.

    That it costs real money for people to vote on AI is irrelevant to this particular conversation (beyond further feeding my “people are idiots” funk).

  4. scott lewis says:

    Where these stories in the News sections or the Entertainment section?

    Because if they were beside “Bush & Blair set new Goals for Iraq”, it’s one thing. But if they’re beside “Crazy Names Celebrities Give Their Babies”, it’s quite another.

  5. Adrian says:

    Work. Earn. Buy. Pay.

    You don’t need a lot of brain for that. In fact if everybody had more brain we would have lots of problems. Because smart people would start to question the things they eat, wear, use and vote for. For example there would be a serious food shortage if everybody wanted high quality food that didn’t come from some assembly line.

    The last I heard was that the president is pretty unpopular, so the first headline is funny as it’s not very heard to be more popular than the president.

    Stop being angry because anger leads to the dark side.

  6. Richard J. Daley says:

    Maybe they’re from Chicago?

  7. Papa Joe says:

    hey Bill,

    we agree on something!!!!

    us..we 2

    amazing!!!

    just goes to show, if one lives long enough…

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