It’s bad news all over, for the left and the right. Democracy and the markets are taking a thrashing, and the bodies are piling up. It’s starting to stink, and we can use some graves, but there aren’t many real journalist left to do the digging. They’ve all either been laid-off or bought-out, and a hungry man doesn’t wield a shovel.
A few of them, though, were either lucky, smart, or stupid enough to read through the lines of their own bullshit early on, and got out while the getting was still good. They were able to make it out West before the law did, and those of them that were lucky were able to claim a chunk of the Ponderosa for themselves (those that weren’t either scalped or shot in the back by a flippant drunk horse rustler).
One of the lucky ones was Tom Forenski. He’s managed to find a way to keep his belly full and his shovel out of hawk for long enough stretches to dig’em six feet deep before the rainy season turns’em into sinkholes. His latest ode-to-a-spade has enough room it for just about anyone he’s ever worked for, with, or on. Sifting through the annual Edelman Trust Barmometer, Tom has found that:
- Trust in information from friends and peers, “people like me,” dropped by 20 points, from 47 to 27 percent.
- Trust in information from digital media–blogs, social networks, and free content sources like Wikipedia or Google news, remains low: only between 11 percent and 22 percent of respondents express trust in information about companies from these sources.
- Trust in credibility of TV news declined by 20 points, from 44 to 24 percent.
- Trust in news coverage on the radio dropped by 17 points, from 48 to 31 percent.
- Trust in newspapers fell by 14 points, from 46 to 32 percent.
- Only 38 percent trust media (as an institution) to do what is right, down from 46 percent in 2008.
- Media companies (as an industry) have declined in credibility by 16 points (from 48 to 32 percent).
- In the U.S., media companies are tied with the insurance industry for last place. Banks are second from the bottom.
- Top trusted industry is technology and it has widened its lead over other industries.
- Tied for the second most trusted industry is Biotech and Automotive at 63 percent, followed by Energy, Retail and Food at 61 percent.
I can get Automotive tying for second place. I mean, geezus, the American people own the auto-industry now. If they can’t trust themselves, how are they supposed to look themselves in the mirror every morning and keep bullshitting themselves into thinking that what they’ve been doing for last two decades has actually meant anything and that they should keep doing it?
Besides, we’re a nation of smug, arrogant apes. About the the only thing we trust is our gut instinct and it tells us we’re hungry. So how are we supposed to afford an $8 non-fat caramel double machiatto to wash down our Grand Slam breakfast if we don’t trust ourselves enough to show up and work and bring home the bacon?
But Biotech? Ye gawds, it’s a college student’s worst nightmare. I mean, they’ve done things to farmers, genes, and the American justice system that would make an Father O’Hanrahan blush. But I digress…
It seems like America is losing faith in anything with a type-face. We’re losing faith in the people we don’t really know and the blogs that they write. We’re losing faith in Google and it’s ability to gage the relevance of something based on how many virgins linked to it. And we’re also losing faith in the media companies that can no longer afford to pay their creditors, never mind the interns that are supposed to be fact-checking the weather reports.
Tom thinks it’s bad news for PR agencies, “social media experts,” citizen journalists, and media start-ups. But what about the poor and wretched souls in middle-America who don’t know whether to be more terrified Osama, Obama, or the impending Zombie apocalypse when their kids ring-in 2013 with a double of their cerebrospinal fluid on the rocks?
These are the people whose weekend trips to Walmart and Costco keep the coffers of the agencies and media companies replete with fresh lies, and how are they supposed to keep spending if they’re too terrified or confused to make it to work in the morning?
Two decades of whore-mongering is catching up with us folks. It’s daybreak, the party is over, and before the shooter-girls can count-out, go home, and sleep it off, the rest of us have to face the reckoning and pray to the vengeful, pagan gods we’ve worshiped all night that there’s enough left-over for the cab ride home.