And this is the time of year I wish I still lived in Austin…SXSW Interactive sounds great this year as I track friends who are there via Twitter (#sxsw).
Monthly Archives: March 2009
After all the hoo-hah over John Stewart vs. Jim Kramer from Thursday’s Daily Show, this is what I’m left asking – is one of the most apparently savvy men in media not media savvy?
Those of us in the media industry have had it hammered into our head the extent to which our intended audiences for our advertising, distributed content, program integrations, stunts, events, publicity, social experiences, tweets, corporate blogs, gadgets, widgets, sandwich boards, street teams, text messages, sidewalk chalk, digital projections, and what not is all aimed at an exceedingly savvy pool of people who have incredibly sensitive BS filters that can sort through hype to get to what’s real.
We’ve bought into the public-at-large’s ability to not be sucked into the over-hyped and sensationalized news programming that is pervasive on cable news channels and even on the broadcast network’s morning and evening news. I’ve quoted here Perry Farrel from 20+ years ago saying, “Now the news is just another show w/ sex and violence.” At the base of the Daily Show is this realization – it’s the “fake news”.
For many centuries it’s always been known that various media outlets lean a certain way or take an editorial stance that favors certain points of view. When people watch certain cable news programming or read certain blogs and publications, they know what they’re getting.
To that end, when I read the About section of CNBC.com, I’m not seeing Stewart’s arguments about CNBC becoming some sort of protector of the American public against the evils of Wall Street holding a whole lot of water. They’re intended audience is “business executives and financial professionals w/ significant purchasing power.” If these people weren’t aware of what was going on in the financial markets, who was? Kramer screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” at them would’ve been “fake news.”
Should CNBC re-purpose themselves to be guardians of what’s really happening on Wall Street? Here’s something to consider that also happened this week.
The stock market went up. Many say it went up for a couple of big reasons. One, banks made statements to the effect that if you get rid of all that bad debt, they’re actually making money. Two, the White House is saying they’re doing everything they can everyday to get credit flowing. There’s been a lot of analysis of the administration’s stance on blaming the previous administration for the mess and that’s effect on the positive move upwards. This administration is most definitely “media savvy.”
There’s much being said that we’re not at the bottom just yet, so taking the administrations apparent “if you forget about all that bad debt and see that we’re actually moving up, and realize we aren’t to blame for this mess, now, get out there and start spending and borrowing!” could be seen as not much better than what Stewart accused Kramer and CNBC of doing. One could see how following such direction could cause as many problems as we already have if the market and financial system isn’t really ready for such activities to ensue. I’m not sure I recall hearing Stewart’s analysis of this yet. Perhaps in next week’s shows.
So, in the end, in my humble opinion, we don’t have John Stewart, Protector of Democracy and All That is Good in Media. We have John Stewart, Host of the Fake News and Holder of the Opposite Perspective of CNBC. Same thing we’ve had in the media for many, many centuries. John Stewart is, indeed, media savvy.