ADAPTING TO THE NEW PROFIT MORALITY!
Like all other areas of the American economy the mantra and imperative of the news media has always been to make a profit. But with the advent of the Internet making it possible for virtually anyone to become a news source the collapse of news media standards in the pursuit of profit was inevitable.
The negative influence of today’s news media is incredible. It is blatantly obvious and getting worse by the day. It adversely affects virtually every area of life—socially, economically, politically and spiritually —and despite all of the hemming and hawing by people who recognize its destructive influence, it continues to make a mockery of common sense, rationality and any pretense of positive morality.
Much of this morass derives from the misuse of the Constitutional provision regarding freedom of speech to advance the fortunes of individuals; to make money in total disregard for the damage it causes.
One aspect of the degradation of American culture that was stoked by the so-called Hippie Movement in the 1960s was the practice among both young men and women to get tattoos to demonstrate their rebellion against Establishment values and customs.
This rebellion was primarily voiced and advanced by songs and music that broke all of the old taboos against vulgar behavior and dress—something that appealed directly to the very young on a subconscious level.
Profit-oriented movie and television producers joined this rebellion and began to promote the same ideas and behavior that had grown out of the Hippie Movement—outlandish fashions, female nudity, unrestricted sexual activity, tattooed anti-heroes and gratuitous violence…all of which are now as American as apple pie.
Just one small part of this rebellion was the grow-ing incidence of tattoos among young girls after the Hippies had faded into the background—something that just a generation earlier would have been unthinkable. By the first decade of the 21st century the news media had begun to cooperate with entrepreneurial tattoo artists to promote tattoos as an “in” thing to do, with national tattoo organizations and annual “tattoo festivals.”
This tattoo phenomenon can be blamed on the failure of parents and educators to instill sensible values and common sense into the mindset of the young—not to mention that copious body decorations have historically been associated with small tribes of people still on the savage level who used it as a tribal marker, and in more modern times with biker gangs, low ranking sailors, marines and soldiers.
And here too the news media is at fault for treating the practice as a stylish thing to do.
The Black Hole of Competition
A huge portion of the daily, weekly and monthly print news media in the United States abrogated any pretense of standing for and upholding a rational level of moral behavior when their existence was threatened by competition from broadcast and online news media as well as other print media. They lowered their standards or they died.
This corruption is especially glaring and conspicuous in the manner in which these publications report on and hype the entertainment industries that specialize in content based on soft and hard pornography, violence and sleazy behavior in general—much of which is aimed at young people, including children.
Very good writers in publications that once stood for honesty and integrity now utilize their skills to cleverly hawk the movies, television shows, video games and books that in another time and another place would be banned.
Public relations professionals hired by companies and individuals, along with gossip columnists published by newspapers and magazines, are also guilty of using their well-honed talents to promote ill-advised products and agendas by encasing them in an aura of integrity, value and glamour.
Comic strips in newspapers and comedians on television have become social commentators with agendas of their own, subtly making anti-social and anti-human behavior sound like okay fun. Film makers inject far-out political agendas into movies promoted as entertainment.
There are still honest and forthright journalists and publications in the news media field, but their numbers are dwindling and the cacophony erupting from their anything-that-will-sell competitors drowns most of them out.
The primary force in the motivation and goals of most of America’s professional news media today is simply to get as much of the spoils of war as they can. Some publications have simply eliminated any re-straints or standards on what they publish.
The Insidious Enemy Within
The widespread disappearance of integrity among members of the news media of America has resulted in many of these journalists, commentators and columnists becoming the equivalent of war-time 5th Columns—spies and saboteurs—whose misinformation and slanted news has negative and destructive effects on the country at large.
Unlike spies and saboteurs, however, most of these individuals and enterprises do not work under cover. They are out in public with as big a bang as possible, and the more notice they get and the more they are criticized, the more they like it because that attracts larger audiences and they get paid more by the advertisers who sponsor them.
The insidious power of these elements in the press is virtually unbounded. They can and do control the attitudes and behavior of millions of people.
In the present contexts of American culture any hope of returning integrity and responsibility to the news media is not possible. It will continue as long as it is both supported and driven by the overall culture of the country. It is a symptom of the obsession to make money.
***This blog was excerpted from my book: THE PLAGUE OF MALE DOMINANCE – The Cause and Cure!, available in ebook and printed formats from Amazon.com.
Boyé Lafayette De Mente has been involved with Asia since the late 1940s as a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, journalist and editor. He is a graduate of Jōchi University in Tokyo, Japan and Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, USA. In addition to books on the business practices, social behavior and languages of China, Japan, Korea and Mexico he has written extensively about the moral collapse of the U.S. along with books on his home state of Arizona. To see a full list of his books go to: www.authorsonlinebookshop.com. Recent books include: CHINA Understanding & Dealing with the Chinese Way of Doing Business; JAPAN Understanding & Dealing with the NEW Japanese Way of Doing Business; AMERICA’S FAMOUS HOPI INDIANS; ARIZONA’S LORDS OF THE LAND [the Navajos] and SPEAK JAPANESE TODAY – A Little Language Goes a Long Way!