The media. Where to begin. Specifically the Hollywood trade pubs like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that have amassed a level of respect and almost reverence as it pertains to astutely covering the entertainment industry.
Of course this was way back when — a time that most of you either remember fondly or can’t recall at all. A time when printing the truth accurately and with dignity without the propellers of SEO or the angst of typos was a fundamental requirement and expectation that was non-negotiable.
The rules have changed in order to accommodate the present regime that makes being part of the editorial world — a tasking endeavor.
The shift to salacious fodder sprinkled with ugly little lies happened slowly but it has surely become the blueprint of delivery.
It’s disgusting and almost revolting to behold the daily offerings of outlets that once scoffed at the idea of producing sub par articles that did nothing more than to diminish their instituted integrity.
Today, absolutely nothing is off limits. If you want to feature a piece on xoJane for instance — you need to be prepared to share the most eye-popping scenario imaginable — like “Why Your Period Blood Turns Your Boyfriend On”.
If you’re interested in pitching People Magazine (or virtually any existing pub) you must be completely up to speed and infinitely knowledgable about The Kardashians/Jenners. You have to know who they’re fucking, who they used to fuck and who they just might fuck for the fuck of it.
This family of injected butts, lips and ego are the most uninspiring and downright shallow people you will ever meet but they command every major outlet and consistently trend with mind-numbing headlines like: “31 Times Khloe Kardashian Shut Down Her Own Family” courtesy of Buzz Feed.
Yes. Desperate people do desperate things it’s an instinctual tendency and I suppose that sentiment is applicable to the crippling and pathetic antics of media outlets that have no patience for acute accuracy in any form because it’s just such a waste of time.
The code of conduct has been stripped of any hints of decorum, pride or decency. It’s all about traffic numbers, retweets and mentions. Anything to get the kind of attention that guarantees a sweet ride across the rugged landscape of social media.
Even for a short while before the cat is let out of the bag — being a viral darling is worth everything. Even blatantly lying and purposely hiding the evidence in order to betray and mislead.
How bad can it really get if you’re found out? By the time you’ve been fact checked by a random user who basically did the job that trained editors have maliciously rejected — the goal has already been achieved.
You’ve managed to needlessly infuriate millions into buying your poorly concocted bullshit and swiftly embarrassed and degraded the subject of your expose not to mention thoroughly mocked the profession of journalism which as it stands now seems like the standard protocol.
This is what Variety magazine achieved recently when they viciously and seductively took advantage of the current racial climate in conjunction with the disruptive plight of The Oscars and presented a damning story featuring Twilight actress Kristen Stewart where it was understood that she made comments that poorly assessed the issue of diversity in Hollywood.
Numerous outlets devoured the yummy headline that screamed “Do Something” — the carefully selected words that were intently chosen to highlight Stewart’s message to people of color in Hollywood. who are whining about being denied the same privileges as their white counterparts.
The editors at Variety were well aware of their slimy tactics and hoped it would get them a flood of exposure that would last long enough to justify the transparent negligence at play.
It worked like a charm. As always media pubs are on standby waiting to dive into the pool of filth. Hoping to drop the next awesomely contrived and mandated piece about race and the racists who keep hope alive by providing the daily manna and possibly the next big social media star.
But this time it worked a little too well and left most of us with a sour taste in our mouths — especially when it was quite obvious after Variety’s lazy retraction that this wasn’t an unfortunate mistake.
It was a well choreographed move that was aimed at using an emotionally charged topic as a tool to grossly manipulate the people who will be most affected by it.
People like me — who are incensed by the injustice people of color are surrendered to in all facets of life — including show business.
Variety edited the parts of the video showcasing Kristen Stewart answering the question that was specifically geared towards the plight of women in Hollywood. The answer she gave was quite brilliant but when taken out of context and implanted into a scandalous web — it sounds insultingly absurd.
Which is exactly what Variety had in mind, and then of course hours later after outraged folks had almost exhausted their fury — it was revealed that we had all been a pawn in yet another sick and twisted game of “Catch Me If You Can”.
We all caught the virus, and once the symptoms minimized the next reaction for me was frustration and utter annoyance at Variety’s careless excuse, that hindered on a nameless and faceless employee who “mislabeled” the video interview so brilliantly that instead of us watching Stewart clearly speak about gender equality — we were listening to her belittle the plight of diversity.
The editors at Variety didn’t do the unthinkable. This practice of gauging the temperature and releasing stories that are knowingly meant to deceive and promote societal division by encouraging even more potency between the parties involved is now standard fare.
If you’re incapable of being a lying, cheating social media whore or gangster who pimps out anybody or anything for the pleasure of clickbait articles that are coined for the gullibly inclined — then being an online editor isn’t the job for you.
And honestly you’re better for it. For those who excel at convincing themselves. that the job has to be done by any means necessary — you’re right to assume that.
We are now engaged in a time where the rules and regulations no longer dictate our every move. We can be as bad as we wanna be and reap the profitable rewards of our bad behavior.
Variety magazine did a very bad thing. They know it and we know it. But that was yesterday and this is today.