Sunday , December 16 2018
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The Acosta Affair

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“White House shares doctored video to support punishment of journalist Jim Acosta” I don’t ever remember being addicted to the news like this. I used to get the “New York Times” in high school and college, but I can’t tell you I read much more than the sports pages. And then my law school girlfriend’s father bought her a subscription to the “Wall Street Journal” so I got hooked on that, back when it was only one section. And I figure if you live in L.A., you’ve got to read the “Times,” but so many don’t anymore, that’s what happens when you eradicate content, people give up on you, protect the bottom line at your peril. Why is it always corporations protecting their margins at the price of the product and those who produce it? If only artists ran the world…then

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“White House shares doctored video to support punishment of journalist Jim Acosta”

I don’t ever remember being addicted to the news like this.

I used to get the “New York Times” in high school and college, but I can’t tell you I read much more than the sports pages.

And then my law school girlfriend’s father bought her a subscription to the “Wall Street Journal” so I got hooked on that, back when it was only one section.

And I figure if you live in L.A., you’ve got to read the “Times,” but so many don’t anymore, that’s what happens when you eradicate content, people give up on you, protect the bottom line at your peril. Why is it always corporations protecting their margins at the price of the product and those who produce it? If only artists ran the world…then we’d feel good but be broke!

But the greatest thing for a newshound is the smartphone. I turn off notifications, I don’t know how you can live with those, I hate interruptions to begin with. But being able to get news instantly…wow! On the go, whenever you want. Sometimes I refresh the app to see if anything’s changed in real time. Yesterday the “Washington Post” updated election results every minute, I loved that! Yes, I had to get the WaPo too, to read Margaret Sullivan, to get the beltway story and…

There was enough election analysis to blow a whole day. As it was, I laid in bed in my hotel room for an hour yesterday morning catching up on the election on my phone, John and Yoko had a bed-in for peace, maybe now we need one for truth.

You see the problem is a great swath of the public only saw the doctored video And since this same half has been taught not to trust the NYT, WaPo and CNN and MSNBC, they believe it’s truth.

Now truth has always been a slippery subject. Especially in the arts, where there is no ombudsman, no real rules. If you trust movie grosses, you’re not a profit participant. As for Soundscan, how in hell did ticket bundles ever become included? Years back Soundscan used to fight against shenanigans, skewing the system, but now it’s all right, meaning those outside the industry believe these number ones are truly number ones, when they’re not. And the truth is the music industry likes it this way. Never mind the inane ratio of streams to physical product.

But where does it stop?

We have chaos because there are too many messages to begin with. Now if everything’s untrustworthy…

Were twelve people killed in Thousand Oaks or a hundred, or maybe it didn’t happen at all. Maybe the shooter used a bow and arrow, not a handgun. Or maybe an AK-47. We can make it up as we go, we can say anything and some people believe it!

Why trust the encyclopedia?

Why trust Wikipedia.

Maybe facts are fungible.

It used to be we argued with different facts, now we make up our own facts. And if they do it at the highest level…

And the truth is Sanders knows she’s lying, but she’s doing it for the team. But the team always abandons you in the end, there’s always someone younger and hungrier to take your place, your good deeds are forgotten.

And Trump is smart enough to know he’s winning by losing. He’s already lost the left wing, he’s just strengthening his position with his base, and that base seems very strong, it took seats in the Senate. The problem is the WaPo, not Sanders. And how can you hurt that little intern… Who’d want to be a White House intern anyway? What kind of school did you go to, what kind of family do you come from that you think working with Trump is an honor. Used to be people could say no, have a backbone, character was everything. Now it’s all about money and status.

And they protest at Tucker Carlson’s house… Do you think you can get away with saying these heinous things forever? Do you listen to Tucker? I do, on Sirius XM, they’ve got all the news channels. It’s positively horrifying, and he won’t let you get a word in edgewise if you don’t agree with him. Words have consequences, not only actions. So people hate you… Imagine if you were doing this in high school, you’d really be in trouble. Now we’ve got two gangs in America, the red and the blue, and the red keeps saying the blue can’t fight back, but that is untrue.

And if you’re in the cheap seats, way above the action, you’re completely flummoxed. Has politics turned into the WWE, where the storyline is fake but the entertainment is real? Hell, Mrs. WWE ran for Congress. Fame is king in America, more than money. But fame is hard to get, and everybody’s fighting for it. You see we never really graduate from high school, we all want to be POPULAR!

And that video director Matt Mahurin darkened O.J.’s skin on the cover of “Time.” And Facebook thinks it lives above the law, being a universal product run by King Zuckerberg, who is a Jew, so he’d better watch out, no one’s safe these days, which makes you wonder why anybody would really like to be famous. As for Google, didn’t they pioneer this in the digital age, by giving us different answers to the same query? And despite the cries, ironically mostly by techies themselves, nothing changes, because people love the show, they feel empowered by technology, they can tweet Trump and he can block them, or at least he used to be able to, and Twitter doesn’t block Trump, showing everybody is not equal in America and since I’ve attacked the right these same Republicans believe I should attack the left, false equivalency reigns, everybody’s opinion is worth hearing, has the same weight, just because you’re uneducated and dumb that does not mean you can’t have your say. The earth is flat, global warming is a hoax, it goes on and on, and you’re not ostracized, you’re embraced! Used to be you were proud of your education, which was the liberal arts, not pure business, you went to college to be a better person, not to get a job. You developed honor. Your word was your bond. Used to be people were afraid cigarettes in movies were causing smoking in the youth, portraying it as cool. Is duplicity now cool, since Trump exercises it all day long?

I know, I know, we lost the election, I should just shut up and go home.

Or you’ll work the refs, that’s what the right is best at, blowing the whistle, stopping the game, crying foul.

But Conway’s husband thinks the new AG is unentitled to serve and if what’s black is white and white is black…

You just can’t stop watching the show.

And they tell you to vote, but the truth is we feel powerless. It’s their game, they control it, we’re just bystanders, they tell us they hear us, will stand up for us, but few believe it.

Few believe anything anymore, unless it aligns with their world viewpoint. People tell me falsehoods every day, they see them online they hear them from friends, Snopes has been sidelined, what’s it like living in a post-truth society?

That’s what we’re finding out right now.

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Bob Lefsetz
Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

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