Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

Holiday, Ryan

Book Two: The Monster Attacks: What Blogs Mean

XVIII The Iterative Hustle: Online Journalism’s Bogus Philosophy

The poet Hesiod once wrote that rumor and gossip are a “light weight to lift up, but heavy to carry and hard to put down.”

XIX The Myth of Corrections

The human mind “first believes, then evaluates,” as one psychologist put it. To that I’d add, “as long as it doesn’t get distracted first.”

XXI The Dark Side of Snark: When Internet Humor Attacks

New Yorker critic David Denby came closest to properly defining snark in his book Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation. He didn’t succeed entirely, but “snark attempts to steal someone’s mojo, erase her cool, annihilate her effectiveness with the nasty, insidious, rug-pulling, teasing insult, which makes reference to some generally understood shared prejudice or distaste” will do.

Conclusion: So…Where to From Here?

When intelligent people read, they ask themselves a simple question: What do I plan to do with this information?

Vocabulary

  • Schlock – cheap or inferior goods or material; trash: they peddle their schlock to willing tourists
  • Assuaging – make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense: the letter assuaged the fears of most members.
  • Demagoguery – a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
  • Pariah – an outcast: they were treated as social pariahs.
  • Megalomaniac – a person who is obsessed with their own power.