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I got weird looks at the café when I said I hated journalism [but I suppose this sort thing has become commonplace: I often spout off opinions resulting from long consideration, some of which sound a bit outlandish; and I’ve started getting of course you hate it Jake as often as I give my opinion]. But I really do hate journalism, as long as it is dictated by the needs of a corporate structure that serves its own interests foremost, and as long as it produces tripe like this.

And before you say it’s just a review of a restaurant, chill out, note that this sort of thing — a completely uncritical approach to essentially every concept employed — is systemic. It pervades journalism wherein the goal is not to inform but to distract, not to erode the existing structures of dominance1 but to consolidate them.

1. Jeese it’s just a restaurant review, how can it embody structures of dominance?! Well, for one, there is the juxtaposition of women and meat. And then there is the reviewer’s complicit use of rhetorical tropes that treat women as meat — or, better, as two instances of the same form, flesh to be consumed. I mean, I am positively salivating.

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5 Responses

  1. Why should I even read the article when there is that picture next to it? Says all I need to know about meat.

    a davis2 March, 2007 @ 2:22 amReply
  2. Yea: but you see this is a restaurant review: what matters is the steak. It’s bullshit. Like television or magazines.

  3. I mean: it’s meant to cultivate a passive sensibility of consumption so that the media (in this case, the NYTimes) can ensure a large amount of advertising revenue. ‘News’ is not about information: it’s about grabbing the attention of a significant amount of a marketable — with disposable income — audience. And that is before any of the corporate filters or governmental filters set in: that is the filter of the marketplace. Those others work just as viciously at it.

  4. worse articles like this give permission to allow people to try it “to see if it is as bad as they say” and turn questionable actions into an valid what is seen as valid areas of inquiry. i can see this being placed under some sort of rubric like social anthropology and thus being justified. even though it got one star- about as far as i would read ifi saw it at all - everyone knows that bad publicity is better than none at all

    but is journalism anything in a newspaper?

  5. If it were written by an anthropologist, it would likely (I hope) draw some connections to a larger framework of wealth and misogyny in the US. Intellectual responses to this sort of thing aren’t necessarily as depth scouring as they should be, though.

    I’m treating the stuff in the newspaper as journalism: bad journalism, but journalism. It can’t really be called that without losing the sense of what journalism is however. By and large journalists do not perform as journalists: they perform as wings of the PR industry.

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