In this post, we gave an important reason why people just don’t like of trust the media: The people comprising the media are… idiots.
Here’s another reason: As we’ve often said, you come out of any session in which you’re consuming a media work product less informed than you go in.
Case in point? I was listening to some feature on National Public Radio’s afternoon/evening flag ship “news” program, the laughably-named All Things Considered. On came some sober-sounding (they’re all so sober-sounding!) reporter with a report that was meant to convince us all that the effects of a hurricane can last long after the winds die down and the rains stop. As if we didn’t know that.
Anyway, this “reporter” finishes his segment with a phrase that’s meant to wrap his entire presentation up in a nice, bright, pithy bow, and pound home his thesis. Here’s what this guy came up with:
FEMA (Editor’s note: the Federal Emergency Management Agency) famously estimates that 40% of all small businesses fail in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Well! Pretty dire-sounding, eh? But, what has that oh so important-sounding phrase told you? Easy: nothing. Without knowing the extent to which small businesses fail without a hurricane roaring through the area, you know nothing new from hearing this ringing declaration.
A quick Google search finds this interesting fact:
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. In his book Small Business Management, Michael Ames gives the following reasons for small business failure: Lack of experience.
Wait… so, even without a hurricane fifty percent of small businesses fail within the first year anyway? Sounds as if a hurricane is a good thing for small business! It cuts their failure rate fully twenty percent, from 50 down to 40! (10% is 20% of 50% for any Democrat or Bernie Sanders voters reading this)
And, surely one year is an okay definition for the word “aftermath” that our NPR reporter used in his attempt to say Something Important? The reason I say that is the rest of the the passage from our Google search. Fully 95% of small businesses are going to fail within their first five years.
If you were to define “aftermath” to be the period five years after a hurricane, then apparently a hurricane is — by far! — the best thing to happen to small businesses in any area. According to the NPR “reporter,” a hurricane keeps more than half of them in business that otherwise would have failed in the five years following.
This is the reason we in America dislike and distrust reporters and the media in general. When I heard the report, it took me all of a brief moment to realize that absent any real context, this idiot of a “reporter” had just said absolutely nothing useful to me while either convinced that he’d just told me something oh-so-deep, or realizing that he’d told me nothing of any value at all.
In other words, he was either too stupid to realize he had wasted my time, or he was fraudulently trying to deceive me. And that sums up the vast majority of the American media: Either morons or frauds. And, of course, thoroughly convinced of their own brilliance and greatness.