I recently stopped by Ace of Spades, to see if the same guy who spent all of 2015-16 sucking off Ted Cruz while turning his blog into the #1 Trump-hate vanity site on the Internet has gotten tired of whining about “cucks” and “the Establishment” yet. Evidently not, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some lulz, as the kids these days say.
That link, if you don’t feel like clicking, is about a “non-profit” called “The Save Journalism Project.” Ace rightly notes that it’s a bill-paying scam for laid off “journalists” like the ones at HuffPost and Buzzfeed. Which is schadenfreudily delicious, I’ll admit, but a few dozen generations from now, if our descendants ever feel like giving representative government another shot, “journalism” will be a case study in how not to do it.
Y’all remember that great old show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe? I can’t say I watched it much, but I loved the concept. It illustrated the concept of “supply and demand” in about the only way the Millennial generation could grasp. What, you mean municipal sewer workers are paid $75 an hour?!? Oh, the social injustice!!!…. until you see that they earn every (literally) stinking penny, and then some.
Meanwhile, the demand for yet another snotty barista with a Gender Studies degree hovers near zero.
Journalism is the ur-case of backassward incentives. There are two ways to report “the news.” One is glorified stenography. Actually, it’s worse than stenography, as you’ve got to boil down some elected airhead’s rambling 15 minute nothingburger of a statement into a few sentences that can be read even by the near-illiterate. No one in his right mind would ever want to do that, absent some serious green.
Newspapers, by contrast, all depend on unpaid interns.
The second method of news reportage is “investigative journalism,” which — amazingly — I won’t sneeze at. Archival work is hard, y’all, damn hard, and again, no sane person would do it without serious compensation.
What you get, in other words, is the same incentive structure as academia. Tenured professors lead pretty cushy lives, as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, but those on the tenure track live like crap, and grad students, adjuncts, etc. are the pen-pushing equivalent of galley slaves. You’d only get someone to do it if a) he really thought that brass ring at the end was worth it, or b) he had absolutely no other options.
Since folks in bucket b) are obnoxious to literally everyone, academia and journalism went all-in on a). In other words, they made the whole thing about saving the world, taking action, influencing opinion, etc.
Thus, grossly biased idiots are a feature, not a bug, of the system.
This seems obvious, I know, but once again, sometimes in trying times it’s one’s duty to point out the obvious. Plus, I got nothin’ these days.Loading Likes...