Lying Media Bastards

September 6, 2006

Crikey 2

On Monday, I wrote:

Okay, I get it, Mr. and Mrs. News Media, Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin has died. That’s sad.

You can stop telling me now.

A number of folks jumped into the comments to condemn me as a world class asshole. Maybe, maybe not, but I guess I need to explain what I meant.

Headlines and airtime are scarce, with plenty of info that can be plugged into them. When an editor chooses to put one news story on the front page, all the other stories that happened on Earth that day get lower billing. When a TV producer chooses to give one story 10 minutes of airtime, that means 10 fewer minutes for every other topic there is. Because of these limitations, I find it hard to justify giving much coverage of the death of any single individual. Maybe Steve Irwin was a great guy, but does that mean that the news media should spend 10 hours out of a 24 hour day to talk about him and only him? I mean, his death was the top story on CNN.com. Of course his story deserves some attention, but in a world of war, genocide, poverty and the like, I don’t feel that Steve Irwin’s death was the most important event of that news cycle.

And let’s not kid ourselves, Irwin didn’t get all this coverage because of his kind nature or his work on wildlife preserves*. He got all this coverage because he was a 1) celebrity who 2) died in 3) an unusual manner on a 4) slow news day (and the news media even managed to get an extra fear angle out of it by giving us somber lessons about the dangers of stingrays, although surely 70% of the audience will never come within 10 miles of one). Thousands of wonderful people who never had television shows die every day, and don’t get even a nanosecond on TV news. None of that is Irwin’s fault, of course, but I find the amount of coverage he got to be excessive nonetheless.


* I’d actually never heard anything about Irwin’s work on wildlife preserves** till one commenter sneered it at me. Had I known that, I would’ve agreed that his death deserved more coverage than your average celebrity, but still less than the media chose to give him.

** Weird that even with the wall-to-wall coverage the media failed to inform me about that.

Posted by Jake on September 6, 2006 8:03 pm

36 Comments »

  1. If you actually read the articles you are talking about , they mention it MANY times. Headline skimming is just stupid. I’m talking tens of millions of dollars he put into buying land so that developers could not put shopping malls on it. He got death threats from scumbag land developers who hated his guts, but he did it anyway at his own expense. How many people have that kind of thing as their legacy.

    Comment by Brendan — September 7, 2006 @ 9:54 am

  2. To: LMB board

    Some things are just inexplicable.

    Like the way a certain person appeals to a broad range of people. Folks just loved ‘im. Simple as that.

    Even he himself would say he was a cheeseball. He hammed it up for the cameras, but he was an honest to god naturalist and conservationist. He could get people to have sympathy for “ugly” animals and make people realize all animals are important not just the cute fuzzy wuzzy ones.

    He personally wrangled crocodiles because he was relocating them so they wouldn’t get shot by the locals. When someone called about problem crocs, he and his dad would go out and catch it and release it elsewhere.

    He wasn’t making the animal version of Jackass.

    I get the frustration about too much coverage. I think burnout from previous deaths makes it easy to jumble this one into the same category like princess Diana (gag). Steve Irwin was just one of those people who spread optimism which is so rare these days. yeah there’s some serious crap going on in the world I agree. If we do nothing but focus on that people will give up on even trying to be better people. He didn’t just comment on the world’s problems fromthe safety of a desk.

    Best wishes,

    Edie

    Comment by Edie from San Diego — September 7, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  3. Wait a minute. Someone who calls his show “Lying Media Bastards” is referring to someone else as “sneering” ?

    Comment by Innocent Bystander — September 7, 2006 @ 11:26 am

  4. Dude. At least don’t be a hypocrite. You play music on your show. You blog about insignificant shit all the time. If media space is so precious, then why do you waste time and space on your site on the following…
    Pranks pulled on celebrities
    You playlists of music you play on your show
    Job Recruiting techniques of the US Military
    Spam
    Survivor Cook Islands
    American Apparel Clothing Company
    You personal ignorance about processor chips
    Willie Nelson
    You station is switching to a new server
    Mel Gibson
    Your personal “tribute to the cat I pretended was a dj”

    …all things on your front page.

    As if any of these things are more important than a “world of war, genocide, poverty and the like.”

    Comment by Brendan — September 7, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  5. I get what you are saying. It’s not that they mentioned it or that it was considered news necessarily, just that it was played out ad naseumm. It’s not like Jake is gleefully dancing on the guys grave. He just thinks the sheer amount of media coverage is ridiculous. I agree, when half of the news that day is them showing footage of one guy who passed away while thousands of people around the world die of preventable starvation, it gets frustrating.

    Plus, it isn’t like the people at the media companies give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about the guy. They probably tripped over themselves in excitement to get touching images of him out there for people to view. When we stop to think about all these news outlets tugging our heart strings for ratings (simply so they can sell us commercials, so we can consume and consume) and we as human beings suck up every drop of what they are selling… Well, it sure does cheapen it all, imo.

    I get it, that’s all. Stop attacking him, guys.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  6. Stacey,
    Why does Jake spend so much time on his radio show playing music when there are starving children out there. Does anyone think of the children anymore??? Dear god the starving children! And acid rain.

    Comment by Brendan — September 7, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

  7. “I get it, that’s all. Stop attacking him, guys.”

    You heard it from Stacey kids, only people who agree with Jake can post here. Let’s just agree that Jake is right about everything and join the Zombie Army.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  8. First off, he DOES spend a lot of time talking about important things. While you may feel that him speaking about things like Survivor: Cook Island or whatever is unimportant, if you look at the underlying message behind most things that he says - he is making very important points. The Survivor thing in particular was a comment on we as a society being repulsive and basically flushing away any amount of intelligence we may have once posessed. While it may have been a comment about entertainment, it’s a comment about society as a whole that was the relevant portion of his point. He plays music because that’s how he feels he’d like to incorporate things into his show and entertain us. Does he play the same 5 songs every hour on repeat? No. The point he was making was that this guy’s death was getting insane coverage, ad naseum. And for it to be something of relatively little significance is the frustrating part. Why didn’t we see this sort of coverage when it was announced (even though we all knew all along) that Iraq had no WMDs, the primary purpose for invading them in the first place? The hypocrisy, and the fact that people out there don’t question it, is the single most frustrating part about watching the news today.

    I never said you guys couldn’t disagree with him, but why do you feel the need to out and out attack him about this subject? Is it because you sat down in front of CNN for 2 hours watching whatever bullshit special they put out to bring a tear to your eye and you don’t want to admit that you are part of the problem as opposed to being part of the solution?

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

  9. I’m just waiting for Stacey to spell Ad nauseam correctly once.

    Hail Stacey, leader of the Zombie Non-Think Tank

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

  10. Making petty points shows a lack of intelligence. Why don’t you try debating and responding to what I said, as opposed to attacking me for spelling a word incorrectly? I didn’t say you couldn’t disagree, again I merely said that you attacking him and trying to what, make him feel bad? over something like this is stupid and you are completely missing his point. It’s like a bad episode of The O’Reilly Factor.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  11. You watch The O’Reilly Factor? Spelling a word incorrectly two different ways shows a lack of intelligence. Did Jake say his feelings were hurt? Did you ask him? Is he so thin-skinned he doesn’t want to debate anything he brings up? There’s nothing heroic about playing music on your station regardless of the content. Internet stations are a dime a dozen. I listen to Rhapsody–why bother with some DJ’s selection of so called alternative music (Green Day??? As if.).

    Regarding Cook Islands, so many people have already slammed the show (including the evil media outlets) that there’s hardly anything original about Jake’s analysis.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

  12. Why are we playing music and talking about TV when there are the children to think about. The starving children!!! You’re right Stacey, I am clearly part of the problem not the solution. You know me so well. Can we speak entriely in clishes. That would be cool. If you can’t beat them join them…that’s a good one.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

  13. Stacey is the best.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

  14. Marry me Stacey.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

  15. We will have Zombie kids together.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

  16. Note to self: It’s cliche. You know how Stacey feels about typos.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  17. When God gives you lemons, make lemonade. Another good one.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  18. To have knowledge of a show that I have seen condemned and dissected in many various ways doesn’t mean I personally watch the show. I’ve seen enough clips showing how he treats his guests to know his style and I compared it to what you are doing. Jake stated in his initial “let me explain” post that people had essentially called him an asshole. I would assume that bothered him on *some* level because he felt the need to explain it. Is cutting down someone you don’t know acceptable simply because you don’t have to see the injury you do them?

    You’re insulting what he does here, when the stated objective of the site (look up and to the right) is to play music he wants to share with us and to bring up newsworthy articles for dissection and analysis. If you have such a negative opinion of what he does, and you’ve already read everything he writes on other sites, why do you read this site again? Resorting to mocking people for their choice of music or because they spell a word incorrectly (first extra m in my first post was a typo, btw, but not that it matters) is MEAN and petty. Should I mock you because you capitalized the A in Ad in the middle of a sentence when you pointed out my inability to spell a word? A person who is going to mock someone’s grammar or ability to spell should at least do so with a sentence as pristine as a newborn baby. Anything else looks foolish.

    You completely missed his point. You completely missed my point. What else is new when it comes to people in this world?

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

  19. Wow, you are a real dick, aren’t you? And it’s cliche, asshole.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

  20. Ha, I see you already caught yourself. I didn’t even read all your bullshit the first time through. You’re still an asshole though.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

  21. You didn’t answer me. Will you be my LMB Zombie Bride?

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  22. It’s so adorable how you keep prtecting Jake like he’s a moron who can’t defend himself.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

  23. Marry me Stacey. Please.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

  24. Where’s Jake. Tell him he can marry me too. But we have to move to Utah.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  25. Jakey Jake, come out and play. Stacey is making you look like a milquetoast who can’t take any criticism. Maybe you are.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

  26. I would call you an asshole if you attacked anyone like this. My first post was merely an expression of the fact that people seemed to be attacking a person for no reason - i.e., it’s not that he didn’t care about this guy’s death. Just that he cares about a lot of other stuff too and wishes it would get the same amount of attention. I agreed with him and thought people were being unduly mean by acting as though he is the same as the major media networks because he plays music on his site or because he talks about things entertainment related (which still almost always have social importance or lack thereof, which is why he is talking about them). I wasn’t initially overly defending him or whatever, just sort of implying that people should discuss without trying to make a person feel bad.

    I didn’t say he couldn’t defend himself, but he’s not here, is he? Since I agree with him, I am really defending my own point, aren’t I? If this is your idea of entertainment, picking fights on the internet, I feel really sorry for you. Do you feel better about yourself now? Are you going to go stand naked in front of a mirror and flex your e-peen because you had a little internet tiff (and in your mind, won!)? Grow up.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

  27. Voicing an opposite opinion is an ATTACK? Healthy way of looking at it.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  28. Here’s what really gives me the giggles. This’ll blow your mind Stacey–I know Jake personally.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  29. Say Hi to Adam for me, Jake.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  30. I am really happy for you that you know him - that doesn’t alter my viewpoint in the least. When I said that initially about people should lay off attacking him, it was not actually in response to what you said specifically (though I didn’t think that what you said was fair, because you were trying to trivialize some things that were clearly pretty important either to him or maybe to the people who read about them). It was referring to the fact that he said people were essentially making him feel like an asshole. That bothered me, because he wasn’t being an asshole - just voicing a frustration with today’s news media. Yes, that’s my OPINION, I am aware it is not fact.

    You’ve shown all the maturity of a 12 year old boy pulling my braid, dancing around me singing “Stacey, Stacey, poopy pants”.

    Comment by Stacey — September 7, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  31. Still giggling.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 7, 2006 @ 4:24 pm

  32. “Is it because you sat down in front of CNN for 2 hours watching whatever bullshit special they put out to bring a tear to your eye and you don’t want to admit that you are part of the problem as opposed to being part of the solution?”–previous poster

    It is the height of hubris to assume you know why people are sad about something. How dare you claim that people are mourning because they are being manipulated. That is utterly disrepectful, and just plain cold.

    Comment by Edie from San Diego — September 7, 2006 @ 7:20 pm

  33. It’s amazing when people claim to be speaking against THE MAN. Then in the next breath they trot out the elitist attitude towards everyday people and their concerns. If you’re too dense to understand a groundswelling of sympathy for the passing of a role model then I pity you.

    Comment by Innocent Bystander — September 8, 2006 @ 7:16 am

  34. THOMAS KOSTIGEN’S ETHICS MONITOR
    Ten big news stories you aren’t hearing
    Traditional media ignore or downplay significant events

    …number three on the list

    3. World oceans in extreme danger
    Governments deny global warming is happening as they rush to map the ocean floor in the hopes of claiming rights to oil, gas, gold, diamonds, copper, zinc and the planet’s last pristine fishing grounds. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 found “the first clear evidence that the world ocean is growing warmer,” including the discovery “that the top half-mile of the ocean has warmed dramatically in the past 40 years as the result of human-induced greenhouse gases.”
    Source: “The Fate of the Ocean,” Julia Whitty, Mother Jones, March-April 2006.

    Gee whiz, isn’t that the documentary Steve Irwin was doing when he died? The documentary was call The Ocean’s Deadliest. And what does the documentary conclude is the ocean’s biggest threat? Humans.

    Comment by LMB Zombie — September 9, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

  35. The saddest thing about all of this is that in the hours and hours and hours of [repetitive, uninformative, sensationalized] coverage, there’s way too much about the risks Irwin took, and the “stunts” he showed on television. There’s not nearly enough about his REAL legacy: conservation and animal welfare. I think the guy would be horrified if he realized that CNN could devote 20 hours to protecting the world’s oceans, but instead, they decided to talk about “stingray safety.”

    Comment by Snarkysnark — September 11, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  36. Damn Jake, I see what you mean.

    Comment by Juanito Cordova Dolanski — September 17, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

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