Our News Organization Has Discovered that Our News Organization Is Always Right:
When I see a name in a news headline and think “Who the hell is that?”, these days my next thought is “Probably one of their own reporters.”
Yep! This Rebel News headline breathlessly announces that a journalist has been arrested for plying his noble craft… and, coincidentally, that journalist works for Rebel News.
In fact, Avi Yemini is the self-same reporter who stars in this news segment ABOUT HIMSELF.
I wonder if the other side’s point of view will be fairly represented? Yes, censorship is terrible, but no matter how clear-cut an issue seems, when the subject of a news segment is also starring in the news segment (and possibly editing it himself as well, considering the crap budget editorial departments appear to have these days, and fact-checking? Ha ha, that’s cute), pardon me if I have a few little questions.
This outlet isn’t the first or the worst to go in this direction, but Yemini’s vlog-as-news-story is a depressingly perfect example of news media’s increasing tendency to consider themselves the most newsworthy objects on the planet.
It’s bad enough that this kind of thing is severely onanistic. But further, except for Yemini’s bellowing about how he’s a journalist, gosh darn it, there is very little in form or substance that separates this “content” from drama episodes on beauty bloggers’ YouTube channels.
The only real difference is the little logo telling you that this journalist is backed by XYZ-Brand Media Co. For better or for worse, that stamp of outside approval elevates this form in viewers’ minds, despite the near-total lack of objectivity or oversight.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t think critically about media outlets. Nothing wrong with examining an institution, even if you’re part of it. Michael Miner at the Chicago Reader has long been a sterling example of the media self-examining in a less personal way.
But are reporters themselves the ideal people to examine… themselves?
Mike Miner pieces are usually not about Mike Miner. In fact, they often shed light on the very onanism and recursive crapola the vlog form enforces.
I don’t mean to pick on this particular reporter, and it sounds like he’s still charged up with adrenaline from what was clearly a frightening and frustrating experience. And it’s not as bad as the stunts CNN pulls with impunity, like pretending one of their reporters is quarantining after a Covid diagnosis when… he’s kinda not:
I don’t know whether Cuomo was faking his illness or whether he was being incredibly sloppy about quarantining himself. I would probably guess the latter. But who knows? Since he’s got his own employer to turn his story into infotainment under their aegis and veneer of credibility, he’s probably not going to get asked any hard questions about it.
And that’s the scary thing: the fourth estate is writing our history, and they’re doing something really spooky to the fourth wall.