The news media outlets aren’t in business to sell facts. Their entire business model is to sell ad space by attracting more viewers. The more viewers they have, the more valuable that advertising space is. Whatever gets their target audience to watch increases the value of that ad space.

Consumers of the news, the viewers, are the product being sold. The businesses paying for that advertising space are the customers. You, as a consumer of news, are simply a product, a means to an end. The facts are immaterial and only get in the way.

All of the outlets on the left (CNN, MSNBC, etc) and on the right (Fox, Newsmax, etc) are there to report whatever ‘facts’ will get them the viewership they need in order to be profitable through selling advertisement time and space to their customers. So they play to their viewers by reporting ‘facts’ that will attract enough viewers, and the veracity of those facts is immaterial to the news organizations’ goal of selling more advertisement space.

Have you ever wondered why the local news never does reports on crooked car dealers? Because the local news channel knows that car dealers are the largest purchasers of advertising space, and the producers of the news shows don’t want to risk losing the advertising sales of those businesses.

News outlets aren’t reporters of facts, they are entertainment companies whose business model rests on reporting things that attract more viewers. The truth is immaterial to that goal.

Categories: Fake News


Plague Monk · February 26, 2024 at 6:38 am

Some years back, I was a part owner of a hobby store that sold metal fantasy and military gaming miniatures in upstate NY. Not a large store, but we sold high quality gaming figures for a variety of games. Also, Diplomacy and board games were part of our line.

A local TV station kept bugging us to buy advertising, along with other hobby and gaming shops, which we refused to do. This station decided that they were going to do an investigative piece on the “dangers of wargaming”. They sent around urinalists to talk with customers and staff at these stores and we talked freely about what we did. We knew that it would be a hit piece, and frankly, we didn’t care.

Well, they sent around a sales team to the stores, explaining that this piece was going to be very severe, and could result in the state/city outlawing the stores. If enough of the stores bought overpriced ad packages, they suggested that the piece could be delayed or even canceled.

After talking with the other owner and some other store owners, I told the station to broadcast the pieces, and thanked them in advance for the free advertising. I’m afraid that I was less than civil with them, as I was leading a 3rd shift drafting team on a classified sonar project for the USN, and was dealing with several moronic officers and procurement types. Fools are fools, whether in uniform or in journalism.

The hit piece came out, as only a few of the shops bought the ad packages. There were no real calls for legislative action, and our business increased by about 40 percent. I sent the station a painted 90 mm monster holding a sign that read “Thank you very fu@king much for the free ads.” The other hand was holding up a middle finger.

H Quirk · February 26, 2024 at 6:46 am

“(I)n television the product is not the program; the product is the audience and the consumer of that product is the advertiser. The advertiser does not ‘buy’ a news program. He buys an audience.”

Linda Ellerbee (1987)

H Quirk

    oldvet50 · February 26, 2024 at 4:10 pm

    I don’t think that applies anymore. Have you ever wondered why there are SO MANY ads for drugs that don’t say what they are supposed to treat? The ad will say “Ask your doctor if xxxxxx is right for you”. They are buying the news outlet so they can dictate what gets reported. Pharma buys so much ad space that if they get pissed and leave, you would have to close shop because you couldn’t pay the freight.

    I am having bouts of cognitive dissonance since I know that Trump is overwhelmingly favored by the people, yet there are so few conservative news outlets that can survive on the ad revenue available to them. How can the largest audience have the least market share? Why did Newsmax have to resort to subscription only? It used to be my GO-TO source for TV news.

Big Ruckus D · February 26, 2024 at 2:28 pm

And yet the masses still eat that shit (along with other circuses like sportsball, movies and politics) up. I’ve abandoned all hope that the vast majority can ever be taught not to continue getting caught up in that garbage, it is just innate human nature. And that is why we lose.

Dirty Dingus McGee · February 26, 2024 at 2:57 pm

I refuse to watch TV news as it’s mostly BS. I’ll bounce around the web and read what I choose. I used to hit the Fox news website. I did run an adblocker until it became a pain in my ass to try to read the articles with it running. Knowing they need to have SOME type of income, I shut it off on their site. Fast forward to a few months ago. Now about 1/3 of the “stories” want me to “enter your email to continue reading”. How about no? And while you’re at it, GFYS. So now I don’t even bother going to the website and they have lost whatever ad revenue my presence generated. Congats genius’s I guess, way to diminish your web presence.

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