Media sell drama over facts

Seth Godin dissects the language in just one piece of coverage of the campaign and reminds us all that what news media are really selling is drama:

. . . [A]s William Randolph Hearst taught us a long time ago, the goal is to sell newspapers, not to report the news.

There isn’t media bias in favor of Hillary (my friend Jeff is the first to point that out). Nor is there media bias in favor of floods. There’s media bias in favor of drama.

Most of us are inclined to believe that government officials, doctors and the media are making an effort to tell us the truth. Actually, just like all marketers, they tell us a story.

But, of course, they don’t control the story — the narrative — anymore, at least not as much as they used to. They are part of a larger narrative. And, no, I won’t say that gets us closer to the facts faster. It gets us more narratives, more memes, more drama. But at least the contrast is helpful: In this corner is most media saying that Hillary blew it on Tuesday (Time Magazine just couldn’t wait to declare the winner) but over here are Jeralyn Merritt saying that Obama did far worse in North Carolina than Virginia and he blew it.

They blather, we decide. It’s the war of the memes.