How “Global” Media Works

How “Global” Media Works January 12, 2015

12 dead in Paris: Mass hysteria about the Existential Islamic Threat.
Thousands dead in Nigeria from Boko Haram: Crickets

Fewer people than you can count on one hand die from Ebola in the US: Unhinged hysteria (until Election Day)
8289 people dead so far in Africa: Crickets

Hysteria tends to directly corellate to the availability of nice hotels and bars for media to hang out in.

Of course, we should also not overlook the fact that some in the League of Talking Hairdos feel a strange need to assign good guy/bad guy roles according to skin color.

"I’ve seen the city I grew up wrecked by Mexican immigration. Even the middle class ..."

Traditionalist Reader Eric S. Giuntas has ..."
"It is utterly contemptible to use Veterans Day to defend a swine who treats vets ..."

On This Veterans Day…
"On the contrary, Veteran's Day is the best day to point out what Trump really ..."

On This Veterans Day…
"Busy. But your failure to ever answer my simple question says everything we need to ..."

The Amazon Synod: Fortress Katolicus vs. ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Joseph

    Yazidis took centre stage over the decade-long genocide campaign of Chaldean Christians in Iraq as well.

    • petey

      what media do you read? b/c that wasn’t true where i am.

      • Joseph

        CNN/BBC/FOX/Irish Independent/Irish Times/etc.

        • petey

          i use NYT, NYDN, CBS radio, catholic news blogs like Deacon’s Bench (many others), certain political sources, and even the irish times occasionally, and i was thoroughly aware of the christian situation. this gets into big questions about victim sensibility, and this thread isn’t the place for that.

          • Joseph

            Deacon’s Bench is a Catholic News Blog. NYT and CBS are mainstream… but let’s talk about proportion. I didn’t say anywhere that the Christian genocide wasn’t reported… that would have been a lie. Instead, what I did was compare it to the amount of coverage the handful of Yazidis received which was over and beyond the decade-long genocide of Christians in the region.

  • Michaelus

    What reporter wants to go to Baga Town in Nigeria when he could book a room at the Ritz and be hailed as a brave hero standing up for liberty – after of course passing through rigorous security and all while being surrounded by well armed French soldiers?

  • Matthew

    “Bad guys” in this sense aren’t deterred by cops or soldiers or anyone with a weapon because they don’t see themselves as bad guys. They see the cop or soldier as the bad guy. Eric Boiling is of the ilk that his American citizenship is the only thing he needs to be “one of the good guys.”

    But what the hell. It’s Fox. I don’t even know why I pointed that out now.

  • petey

    “Thousands dead in Nigeria from Boko Haram: Crickets

    8289 people dead so far in Africa: Crickets”

    how did you hear about these, then? btw, the horrifying situation in the Central African Republic has been very well covered in a series by the LATimes: http://graphics.latimes.com/flight-from-rage/.

    • Joseph

      I’m pretty sure he’s referring to ‘it’s not consistently in the headlines’ or at least not relative to other pet stories. He’s not saying that it’s *never* covered. One can find any amount of stories on page 13 of the New York Times and say, “You see! It’s right there! One whole column”, when the lead story on page one is how Michelle Obama likes to have raspberries with her Cheerios for breakfast and why.

      • Pete the Greek

        Well duh, because people are reading media that is geared toward pure entertainment. That’s like standing in line at a falafel cart and complaining that they don’t serve steak sandwiches. Seriously, what else do you expect?

        There are actually plenty of sites out there that cover developing wars like this in detail, primarily because they are geared toward an audience that is focused on military, war-fighting stories. You just need to look.

        • Jonk

          I did a search for Boko Haram on The Economist and came up with at least 20 pages of results.

        • Joseph

          I think the overall point is this: *Most* people around the world get their information from the mainstream media outlets. *Most*, if not all, of those outlets fail to consistently report on such huge stories such as a decade-long campaign of Christian genocide in Iraq and focus instead on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thanks to the internet, if you want to read about the finer details of Frosted Mini-Wheat production, you can do that.

          • Mariana Baca

            Do “most” people get their news exclusively through mainstream media this way these days? Although I would think many people watch the news still, people also get a bulk of their news reading specialty websites and social media as a complement. No, mainstream media doesn’t cover some obvious things. But many people, especially those under 40, are likely getting news from other sources as well.

    • antigon

      ‘how did you hear about these, then?’
      *
      Why, because of the huge march in Paris condemning it of course. Oh, wait…

  • Pete the Greek

    “Thousands dead in Nigeria from Boko Haram: Crickets”
    – Because it’s impossible. We had a hashtag awareness campaign, and even your favorite commentator Steven Colbert promoted it, so that’s no longer a problem.

    Wait…. are you trying to tell me that a hashtag campaign doesn’t solve problems? Because I remember those sad faces of Sean Penn and Michelle Obama holding those signs on social media. Are you trying to lie and tell me that ‘raising awareness’ without actually taking concrete action doesn’t solve problems? Because that sounds an awful lot like the kind of hate speech those filthy, disgusting Conservatives we all hate usually say…

    ON EDIT: Here’s an interesting, fairly recent article touching on the subject. It’s not Fox News, so it’s not ritually unclean or anything, so probably safe to read…

  • Matthew

    White people live in an ivory tower. Breach the tower and it’s national news. No one cares what happens in the surrounding swampland. Thousands dead due to terrorist violence in Africa? Not news. Happens all the time, plus isn’t Bono taking care of that? Boko Haram kills a few white missionaries or journalists? There’s your news story.

    • Joseph

      ISIS… case in point. Complete decimation of the Christian population in Iraq: not news. A couple of white American ‘journalists’ who went over there to sympathise with the ‘rebels’ who sold them to the men that took off their heads: time to start a bombing campaign.

  • Matthew

    Remember #bringbackourgirls? That was fun for a little while. Except the girls weren’t brought back. Try taking 276 white girls from a nice neighborhood in Connecticut and see how fast we get them back.

    • Pete the Greek

      “#bringbackourgirls” was little more than something to make affluent westerners feel good about themselves, get a warm fuzzy because now everyone in the world would know that ‘they care’. Thing is, Boko Haram couldn’t give a ***t less if Sean Penn makes a frowny face at them.

      You want to get 200 kidnapped African girls back (just that one batch, mind you, not the tons that have been taken before or after, or are still being taken) you have a choice: Dump a lot of money into ransoming them. This is a corporal work of Mercy, but no one is going to do it, not even the most caring liberal (or perhaps I missed where those enormously rich movie stars who were carrying on about this volunteered their money). This then has to be a regular and GROWING thing, as it has now become a money making business for the hostage takers. Second, you go in and kill those involved and rescue them. Not really a good idea getting involved in a VERY messy civil war with mind numbing atrocities being committed by both sides, especially when we had a hand in causing the situation to begin with. Perhaps others would like to see a version of the Afghan/Iraq war played out in African jungle, but I’d prefer not.

      Kind of like Saddam’s rape and torture rooms we heard about non-stop. Yeah, they’re gone, I guess. And to get rid of them, all we had to do was kill hundreds of thousands of people and destroy an entire nation! HUZZAH!!! U-S-A! U-S-A!!

      There’s a lot more going on in Nigeria than just stealing child brides.

  • linda daily

    We know – we just don’t care.

  • jroberts548

    I’ve watched the Fox News video a couple times now. Is there any way they’re not using “Bad Guys” interchangeably with “Non-White People”? I’m sure someone can explain how they’re not, and probably add that I’m the real racist, but that’s insane.

    I can’t figure out why else you would link stop-and-frisk, racial profiling, police militarization, what’s going on in NY, and the skin color of the Charlie Hebdo murderers. They’re either all having strokes or are super racist.

    • Dave G.

      That’s OK, the rest of the media typically uses white people as synonymous with racist. Like my boy so wonderfully pointed out several years ago, according to the media you can always tell a racist by the color of his skin. One of my favorite jabs at our wonderful generation that I’ve yet heard. I still cherish it.

      • jroberts548

        So was I right about the Fox News clip? Or do you just want to whine about how hard it is to be white?

        • Dave G.

          I could read your posts all day!

          • jroberts548

            I’m not saying all white people are racist. I’m saying anyone who says “That’s my question about these guys because if we know they were speaking unaccented French and they had, you know, ski masks on, do we even know what color they were, what the tone of their skin was. I mean what if they didn’t look like typical bad guys?'” is a racist. Anyone who says that doing away with racially based Stop-and-Frisk opens us up to a Charlie Hebdo style attack is a racist. Anyone who makes both points in the same conversation is super racist.

            If your fragile white ego* can’t handle that, maybe you should get thicker skin.

            *As a white guy myself, I’ve never understood this. Other white people are always whining about how hard it is, and always picking the stupidest things to whine about, like not being able to say the N-word or being accused of being a racist when you call for cops to racially profile Black people. If you’re so delicate, maybe you should move back to Europe where your delicate feelings will be protected by stricter speech laws.

            • Dave G.

              ‘As a white guy’ means nothing. Some of the most racist people I’ve met are white against white. Like some of the most anti-male feminists are men. And some of the most vile things said to defend homosexual normality is said by heterosexuals. Or for that matter, ‘as a devout Catholic, allow me to critique….’ It’s a characteristic of post war progressive thought: I’m X, and I declare X to suck. Accomplishes a couple things at least. And sometimes, if you’re clever enough, many more.

              • jroberts548

                I’m not declaring white people to suck. I’m declaring people who think the NYPD should profile Black people to suck. They do suck. Also, people who don’t know how we can know who the Bad Guys are without knowing if they’re not white suck. People who make both points in the same conversation doubly suck.

                Unless you think cops should profile Black people and make suspicionless stops on the basis of their race, I’m not saying anything about you (except that you’re apparently thin skinned). If you do think that, you suck. You don’t suck on account of being white, you might hypothetically suck on account of being racist.

                • Dave G.

                  See how easy that was? You seem to have a lot to say, but I think you’ve spent too much time studying for the Bar, and forgetting that discussions are to be had, not won. FWIW, I don’t care for FOX News. And I hear things there that bother me. As I do in most media outlets. Right and Left. But there’s good, too. For instance, FOX was one that continued to cover the atrocities being done in Nigeria when much of the rest of the world moved on. It’s also covered the plight of Christians more than other outlets. Why? I can only guess. But they did. Though I have seen coverage about Nigeria on other outlets as well over the last few days (I’m partial to BBC World News personally).

                  I am against profiling, and yet on the other hand, if the only distinguishing characteristic of a suspect is skin color, do we say nothing? It’s more complex than a lay person like me can speak to, which is why we need people like you to become the experts who can inform us.
                  Now, I’d like to talk some more, but big game on tonight and the food is ready. Take care.

                  • jroberts548

                    If you don’t care about Fox News, why did you get into this comment thread about a Fox News clip?

                    I asked a question about a Fox News clip. You responded whining about white people getting accused of racism. Now you tell me you don’t care about Fox News. If your observation that “according to the media you can always tell a racist by the color of his skin” wasn’t about Fox News, why was it a reply to a question about Fox News?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Lighten up, Francis…

                    • Pete the Greek

                      “WAS IT OVER WHEN THE GERMAN’S BOMBED PEARL HARBOR!!??”

                      “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

                • Pete the Greek

                  Police profile EVERYONE. It’s called pattern recognition and not being willfully blind to statistics.

                  • jroberts548

                    Maybe you have a different constitution than the actual one, but where’s the “pattern recognition” exception to the 4th amendment? Statistics don’t generate reasonable suspicion for Terry purposes. There’s no statistic that could possibly justify racial profiling for Terry stops.

                    • Pete the Greek

                      No, it’s just that unlike seemingly all the rest of you, I have experience with police that is more than just making sure your seatbelt is buckled when they pull up next to you at a stop light.

                      Police, yes even black cops, profile everyone. New shiny looking BMW with rusted, beat up plates and with three shabbily dressed teens in it that are being still and quiet at a stop light when they pull up? OMG!!! That fits a certain profile, and they’re going to call in those plates.

                      They pull over a 90 something grandma for running a stop sign and they’ll probably walk right up to the car and say hi. However, stopping a beat up and blacked out Taurus in the area of town run by gangs that’s missing plates and driving erratically is going to be handled totally differently. This may blow your mind, but old grannies and young males who live in gang infested areas of town don’t shoot police dead at the same rates. Like I said, MIND BLOWN. Cops know this, they aren’t stupid.

                    • jroberts548

                      What that have to do with the NYPD using race to justify suspicionless Terry stops? I literally do not care about the statistics. There is no statistic that could change the text of the 4th amendment.

                    • Pete the Greek

                      I don’t think I’m making my point clear to you and you seem to be frothing up a bit. Let’s just leave it here, shall we?

                    • jroberts548

                      You’re making a completely irrelevant point. There’s no statistic that could possibly justify the NYPD’s old racial profiling program. I wouldn’t care if 110% of African-Americans were carrying illegal drugs and nuclear weapons. It wouldn’t matter. Your point’s clear, but has no possible bearing on anything.

                    • Pete the Greek

                      “Your point’s clear, but has no possible bearing on anything.”
                      – No, I don’t think it is at this point. Like I said, moving on.

                    • jroberts548

                      You keep on talking about pattern recognition and statistics. They don’t matter for Terry purposes. The NYPD’s program was built around stopping Black and Hispanic young men without reasonable suspicion. There’s no possible statistic that could make that okay. People, like at Fox News, who think Black people shouldn’t be protected by the fourth amendment (i.e., who think suspicionless stops of Black people should be allowed) are racist – giving Black people fewer protections under the constitution based on their race is racist.

                      There’s no statistic you could offer, or pattern you could recognize, or cop you could know socially and claim to be a great guy that changes that.

            • Pete the Greek

              “I’m saying anyone who says “That’s my question about these guys because if we know they were speaking unaccented French and they had, you know, ski masks on, do we even know what color they were, what the tone of their skin was. I mean what if they didn’t look like typical bad guys?'” is a racist. ”
              – I’d say it would depend on the context. If people think ‘Islamic Terrorist’ automatically thing dark skinned swarthy men with bushy beards and turbans, then the comment is understandable. Not having seen the question being asked, it might even be cautionary, as the Boston Marathon bombers didn’t match the pop-culture portrayal of an ‘average terrorist’.

              “Anyone who says that doing away with racially based Stop-and-Frisk opens us up to a Charlie Hebdo style attack is a racist.”

              – I would disagree and say you assume far too much about average people. There are enormous numbers of people who actually DON’T know how biased the stop and frisk policies were. I’ve met quite a few who truly THOUGHT they were random. These people are not racists as you would like to call them, just VERY misinformed.

              • jroberts548

                If you’re a Fox News “journalist” and you don’t know how biased the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk was, it’s because you’re either literally brain dead, or you’re so racist that you don’t care how biased the program is. At a certain point, that level of indifference is indistinguishable from racism. (Yeah, I guess if a random white guy from Omaha thinks the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk program wasn’t racist, that’s not a big deal. I don’t know why Omahans would have strong opinions about NYPD policies, but that’s beside the point).

                Likewise, seeing as Muslims are widespread everywhere from Morocco to Xinjian and Indonesia, you’d have to be pretty lazy to think there’s one specific Muslim look, especially if you pretend to be a journalist. Seeing as how terror attacks have been undertaken by people that look like the Tsarnaevs, Anders Brevik, and Osama Bin Laden, you’d have to be really damn lazy to think there’s one specific terrorist look. Their station reported on Tsarnaev and Brevik. There’s no way they think there’s a typical terrorist look, unless they’re just assuming that all Arabs are terrorists, or they’re playing to the stereotypes of their lazy, racist viewers that Arabs are terrorists.

                • Pete the Greek

                  “you’d have to be pretty lazy to think there’s one specific Muslim look”
                  – You’re overlooking something rather glaring: Average Americans get their impressions from popular entertainment media. So yes, to average people in this country, when you say ‘Islamic Terrorist’, they will think of the type of person being made fun of in Team America. It’s not limited to Muslims either. I’m originally from the deep south. When people hear that, do they think Walker Percy, or the like? No, they think of the worst scenes from Deliverance, but with more plaid and relations with sisters.

                  That’s the way most Americans are, it seems.

                  • jroberts548

                    I’m talking about journalists. I don’t know what “Average Americans” have to do with anything.

                    ETA: Unless you’re saying that the Fox News guys weren’t being racist because they were playing to the racist stereotypes of their viewers. It’s unclear how that’s better, or not racist.

                    Edited further: Just out of curiosity, who do you think comprises the popular media giving the “Average American” misleading ideas about terrorists? It’s Fox News. Being from South Carolina myself, I don’t give people in the popular media who perpetuate negative stereotypes about the South a pass because of the popular media. Who excuses Larry the Cable Guy because of the popular media? He is the popular media.

                    • Joseph

                      USA Today writes all of their articles at a 6th-grade reading/comprehension level… so the perspective of the “average American” is actually *very* important to journalists.

                    • jroberts548

                      Again, pandering to their viewers’ ignorance doesn’t make it better, especially since Fox News plays a nontrivial role in that ignorance and their viewers ostensibly watch them for information.

    • Pete the Greek

      “Is there any way they’re not using “Bad Guys” interchangeably with “Non-White People”?”
      – You must have missed their coverage of the Ukraine thing.

      • jroberts548

        In the clip. In this clip. In the clip that was linked. I don’t suspect that Fox News has a stationwide policy to use “Bad Guys” interchangeably with “Non-white people.” I do suspect (and feel reasonably confident) that the people in the clip that was linked to, the one clip about which I’m talking, are using “Bad Guys” as a bad euphemism.

    • Joseph

      I agree that racism is an institutional problem in the US. But Fox News also hates Rooskies. Americans tend to have a negative view of French people too. And one of the Charlie Hebdo *bad guys* had pretty fair skin… of course, he could have been a ‘non-white Arab’ like fair-skinned Hispanic people would be considered ‘non-white Hispanic’ in the US… just to make sure they aren’t categorized in the ‘white’ group. In that case, the problem of racism based on skin color is so institutionalised that it’s embedded in statistics and the census.
      .
      I don’t deny that the US is extremely racist, especially the Northeast in my experience.

  • quasimodo

    re: Ebola in the US:

    “(Sharyl))Attkisson also noted the CDC is tracking 1,400
    possible Ebola cases in the United States, but does not advertise that
    information on their website: “I called CDC not long ago and said, ‘How
    many active cases are being monitored in the United States of Ebola?’
    And they said ‘1,400.’”

    we are in the best of hands

    • quasimodo

      United States of Ebola?

      new country?

  • Marthe Lépine

    It seems to me that, if someone wants to be well informed, there are a lot of better sources than the media. Media are money-making businesses, and therefore ratings and other measures of sales are what counts for them. They need large audiences in order to better serve their “real” customers, those who purchase ads. For that purpose, they cannot afford to broadcast or publish anything that would go over the head of the average Joe. Particularly the TV, and this is the reason I refuse to subscribe to cable. If I am really interested about something, there is no amount of educational material on tv that is going to tell me anything I don’t already know. I long ago decided that if I really wanted to find out about something, I had to do my own research. Just reading or listening to media broadcasted news remains relatively useful, though, in order to get a very general idea of what is going on, and can be used as a starting point.