Controversy sells:

blog post

In Ireland, there is a strange notion to look the other way when a politician does something that solely benefits them.  Charles Haughey the late Taoiseach(Prime minister) who amassed a fortune from shady places.  In fact, in Ireland, if you are a politician and you get caught doing something untoward there is a greater chance that you’ll get more votes. This isn’t the case in this situation, there is something just as foul at play here. It’s become clear in politics that there is an appetite for the controversial.  It is apparent in America with the coverage of Donald Trump, regardless of whether Trump says anything controversial or not it will be framed that way, and why? Because that’s what sells.

Ryan Holiday’s book “Trust me, I’m lying confessions of a media manipulator” highlights the simplicity of gaming the media ecosystem by marketers and professional media manipulators, encouraged by the toxic economics of the news business. With the presidential race underway in Ireland, it has become apparent that Peter Casey who was at 0% and has now more than doubled in the polls to 2% is using controversial topic points to lead the conversation a dead cat if you will.  And it is working, the complicit media are covering Mr. Casey’s every word and therein lies the problem.

Ryan Holiday wrote “Trust me, I’m Lying” to pull back the curtain shrouding the media manipulators as of now Mr. Casey hasn’t won and is looking unlikely to win it seems that there is no endgame in sight. As we’ve seen time and time again since Brexit polls are not always right, but the media approach covering stories seems to be wrong most of the time.

Categories: Thoughts on journalism

1 reply

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