Consumer Consumption
    by  Cliff Downing
 "A complete lack of credibility"
 Ever since moving to the country I get up about an hour earlier than I probably need to. For those of
 us that have escaped the ant like scurrying of city life it is the most interesting part of the day.
 Outside the huge picture window in front of the house you're just as likely to see deer, turkey,
 owls or even an occasional coyote wandering by at the magical hour just after sunrise. If that isn't
 fun enough for you then there's always CNN. For some reason the loonies really flock to CNN as guest in
 the mornings and they're just as likely to entertain as the wildlife outside our front window.
 Not long ago they had the editor for the Washington Post. I'm not a reader of the "Post". Most of what I
 know about their articles and the news they report comes from reading After watching this
 idiot for his allotted 3 minutes I'm quite sure I'll not be reading his paper on any type of regular
 basis for some time to come. Not online, not for free, not ever.
 One of the topics he and the TV reporter for CNN were discussing was how they generated leads for the
 things they publish in the Washington Post, New York Times and the host of other large city news papers
 around the country. Then the bomb hit! The editor was talking about how hard it was to generate
 stories of interest because of the huge glut of news sources available to the consumer today. First he
 stated that there was a lot of competition with the large number of news sources on the internet. Then
 he really let the cat out of the bag. He told us that one of their main competitors and one of the
 most credible published news sources from which they themselves generated leads for stories was none
 other than (I hope you're ready for this) "The National Enquirer". To quote my favorite source for news,
"bartcop" "noshit"! As if this little revelation wasn't enough the cute little blonde haired CNN host Paula Zahn
 agreed with him. Once again, my jaw about hit the floor.
 I remember when the National Enquirer ran stories like the one that now continues to keep popping up
 on another of those grocery store tabloids about Bat Boy. Recently I saw one of the funniest things I've
 seen in a while on the check out newsstand. Apparently former President Clinton has hired a female aide
 with 3 breast. Of course there was a quote from Hillary stating, "I always knew he was a breast man"!
 I think the fact that the National Enquirer is now considered a credible news source by the editor of
 what is supposed to be one of the leading news papers in the country means that we're obligated to
 take a closer look at some of the things that we've seen of late from the "National Enquirer" so I
 popped over to their website and low and behold one of the most absurd and funniest things I've ever
 seen popped up as an advertisement on one of those extra windows that opens up when you hit some
 websites. In big bold letters it advertises their newest special edition "George W. Bush, the making
 of a war time president" this Special Collector's Edition magazine tells the day-by-day, hour-by-hour
 story in the President's own words and behind-the scenes photos as seen through the eyes of our
 Commander in Chief.


"No shit"
 Oh please make them stop. I'm having more fun writing this than anything I've done to date. I can't quit
 laughing and the tears of jock-u-larity are making it almost impossible to see the keyboard or screen.
 Upon closing this stunning advertisement I'm immediately faced with "Ellen Degeneres pops the
 question" as their lead story. Of course there is the ever important story of "Backstreet boy spinning
 out of control" as a follow up and then the revelation of "MSNBC Star Ashleigh Banfield's secret
 wild life". At last, something I'm really interested in. Of course while at the site I also had to
 participate in their most recent news breaking poll  "Is Britney Spears still a virgin?". I honestly
 can't wait to see the results of the poll show up in the Washington Post!
 *OK, please note that at this point I had to take a little break from the hysterics of the National
 Enquirer website while I at least make an attempt to regain my train of thought to finish this article.
 Alright, a few deep breaths later and after some intense and very serious moments of deep
 contemplation and I'm ready to go.
 The fact is that we're all at fault here. We've become a society of consumers that demand entertainment
 more than we demand credibility from our news sources. Ellen Degeneres' sex life is more important than
 thousands of people loosing their jobs. The sexual prowess (or lack of it) of Britney Spears is more
 important than our elected officials being honest. I think I've personally been affected for life by the revelation
 of the National Enquirer being a credible news source. I'm having trouble concentrating. I can't quit joking
 with clients when we're discussing important things like how much homeowners insurance or how much life
 insurance they need. It seems like the whole world has degenerated to the point that entertainment value of
 something is more important than protecting families and children.

 It's no wonder that we now have an automobile named Daewoo, pronounced Day-woo. It's a small miracle
 that we aren't being ripped off more than we are in our every day lives. Facts are that this type of thinking has
 led our society closer to the road warrior movies than we'll ever admit. I personally don't think that launching a
 nuclear war is very funny but I can't get the image of a war mongering half crazed cowboy riding a plane-launched
 nuclear missle into the Kremlin out of my mind. Look out Dr. Strange Love, you may end up as the lead story
 of one of the most credible news sources in our country, The National Enquirer!

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