Lewis Lapham on why media focuses on negative news of the world

“The bad news is what sells the good news. In other words, the way it works –and McLuhan makes this point brilliantly in Understanding Media in 1964 — most television is good news. The good news is the advertising. That’s what it’s about, and the bad news — the dead guys and the crime — is to get the suckers into the tent, get up the emotional pitch to set up the advertising. First they give you the vision of hell, which is what scares the person, the audience, the viewer. This is what sets up the good news, which is the advertising, which is the way the game is played. So the idea that the media as a whole does bad news is just not true at all. It’s part of the pitch. It’s the freak show in order to sell the snow cones.”
–Lewis Lapham, Harper’s, June 1999

Posted by | Comments (4)  | September 26, 2003
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


4 Responses to “Lewis Lapham on why media focuses on negative news of the world”

  1. NEIL KIRK Says:

    News is to inform. Winning at the math bee will be printed in my news publication on Sunday. Is that negative? The Park Board is working on a wind generation plant. Is that negative?
    Yes, some news is negative because we do not live in heaven yet. My niece died of diabetes. Yes that was negative, but this was news and an opportunity to explain the results of poor diabetic manament.
    Have a nice die if you think you can live in some never-never land outside of reality.

  2. Neil Kirk Says:

    Neil Kirk’s real news.

    Insulin works better than drugs for the diabetic. Now matter how minor, a small injecting will put you back on track. Of course, my case is very serious. I need about 11 injections per day, exercise in the gym 75 mins. each day and eat many small meals per day. That is why I am healthy. But drugs companies try to convince doctors to have me use metformin with some idea I may need less. Truth, insulin is needed to make dopamine production correct, to use the store glycogen in the liver and without insulin, a domino effect of declining health will follow. So pills are not necessary, but insulin must be used with reason, exercise to keep from having to take too much, a physiologist to coach and a counselor to keep you on track.

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