The dumbest addiction of the current age must surely be being a news junkie. Say what you want about meth or crack – its bad for you and destroys individuals, families and society – but at least drugs work as advertised. Whether your poison of choice is Flakka or Krokodil – at least your drugs get you high. They deliver the payload, as promised.
Dumber than that is gambling. You can chase wins, near wins, losses and near losses all the time – some even do so convinced they have a ‘winning system’ – when the reality is the house always wins and everything else, yes, EVERYTHING, is just a stupid person convinced she’s figured out something that she hasn’t.
But by sheer odds alone, sometimes even gamblers win.
News addiction, however, is the one addiction that absolutely doesn’t even deliver the drug itself: let alone the consequences. It’s a 48-hour, always on, international news cycle and it’s all 100% news free.
It’s not about bias – although the death of pure journalism is lamentable. The right has their bubbles and the left theirs. Sure. The problem is the blending of opinion and reporting to the point where it all becomes impossible to tell apart.
If you trust CNN, CNBC, ABC, FOX, The Guardian, the Economist, the NY Times or the Washington Post – at this stage – given what has been seen, demonstrated abundantly, in the past decade – you – personally – can only be a sucker.
There are no news organisations anymore. Make peace with that fact, accept it, and just move on. What you have now are opinion-sharers with a snake-oil veneer of legitimacy. Sorry, but they did bring it on themselves.
There has been some attempts at fightback. Often, the fightback takes on its own partisanship and merely wallows in its own opinion as opposed to those of others. And in the modern era, indeed, I’m not entirely convinced straight news can even be achieved. Maybe if things change in future, but certainly not today.
However, total objectivity being an unattainable ideal, some standards do actually still matter. And there is a difference between punditry and PR, on the one hand, and current affairs coverage on the other (biased as it might well be).
The Free Press, the brainchild of Barri Weiss – is, in my opinion – a heavyweight contender for best of breed in the new era of whatever it is news media will become. And it has a shot at the title.
If you – like me – suffer from being a news junkie – there are far worse places to get your fix (even if those other places have a lot more folks hooked). An ambitious project with some A-game players, I’d venture to say the Free Press has become one of my most important current affairs dealer corners. And while all the goodies on the street, these days, are tainted, this dealer at least seems to cut the baggies with stuff that won’t kill you.
Hell, while fully aware I have a habit, I can even say: I’m a fan.
You can read The Free Press here.