Monday, June 09, 2008

Guccione Quote

Bob Guccione (former editor and publisher of SPIN, and current publisher of DISCOVER magazine) said,

"We will see media transform and metamorphose hundreds of times in our lifetime and yet never radically change. It is still and always going to be communication of information, some of it valuable, some of it dangerous, most of it meaningless, between people. The media, our vanities aside, is never the message. The message is the message." (Quoted in the Wooden Horse ezine.)

I wish the message were the message. But the flaw with even the best, most responsible media, as many have pointed out, is that they get to choose what messages to deliver.

Do we have the best, most responsible media to begin with? Uh-uh.

So the news we see is what they've decided to deliver.

  • What 10-second clip from a 45-minute speech will be broadcast out of context?

  • What foreign crisis will get 60 seconds of precious air time or column inch, and what other hot spots will be ignored?

  • Who's face will accompany a splashy headline, whether or not they're truly newsworthy?

  • What words sound most intriguing or controversial--again, whether or not they're newsworthy?

In an election year, it's blatant: the media is controlling all that we see and hear about the candidates. It's just the way it is. I don't have a better way, but I wish we would all be aware of how smoothly we're being manipulated.

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