Journalism’s big bucks, honest and otherwise

It’s tough being a journalist these days, and with salaries frozen or cut, accompanied by mandatory furloughs, it’s getting harder to make ends meet.

RT’s Kristine Frazao and comedian Negin Farsad discuss one option open to some journalists, the art of the ecdysiast [a word coined by one of our favorite journalists, H.L. Mencken]:

We think the Houston society reporter may be on to something. What better way to learn about society than by witnessing its underbelly firsthand?

We have a great deal more faith in her reporting than, say, reporters and TV talking heads who take big bucks to speak to banking and corporate conclaves, the subject of an essay by Yves Smith at naked capitalism.

An excerpt:

We are much easier to manipulate than we want to believe. Social psychologist Robert Cialdini, in his classic book: Influence: The Art of Persuasion, reported that people who received a gift as minor as a can of soda were more receptive to a sales pitch. There’s a reason drug companies would give doctors pens, note pads, and desk toys.

And journalists have a much more basic problem. Most financial reporters spend a lot of time with senior people in the industry. Big firms already can sway coverage by playing the access journalism game and by artful packaging that seeks to frame the debate (or if you are Jamie Dimon, you just go on loudly and confidently about things that aren’t true). And a few notable exceptions, like Larry Summers, people in positions of influence are usually pretty smart and persuasive. I wrote after my visits to the Treasury that it took a day of two to detox. Journalists are in this every day. It’s not hard to see that even ones who are well intentioned are likely to have the relentless barrage of propaganda influence their thinking (although there are quite a few writers that readers can easily name whose pretenses of objectivity is pretty thin).

Read the rest.

Indeed, while the stripper’s job gives her insight in a sector of society most journalists either never see or admit to seeing, journalists who feed at the corporate and bankster trough merely get their egos flattered in return for what amounts to hush money.

We suspect the stripper journalist can tell us a lot more about the real world faced by the 99 percent than the journalists who grow fat off Big Money.


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