Cable news: why is lying so profitable?

In this video, Dan Lier talks with Peter Montoya about the relationship that people have with the media, how the current model came into being, and whether or not people are looking for truthful reporting.

Yeah. And I believe I don’t know what you believe that I believe that both of the sides, both medias are not factual in their reporting. So it’s all hyper, hyper stuff. That’s most of it’s not true or is part partially true.

 

And so they just opt what they call it when they sensationalize it is the word

 

I’m looking for. Yeah. So here’s how bad the media is. And the media is really bad when I say media. By the way, let me define what that means. That includes social media. So Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all the rest of them.

 

It includes radio, it includes television, it includes Internet television. It includes podcasts, it includes magazines, newspapers, any kind of online. So I say media. It’s broad. And now I’m going to make some a couple of generalizations. And this is not true about every single one.

 

But in general, this is true. Here is the devil’s bargain that we made about 20 years ago, about 20 years ago, with the advent of the Internet, more and more information was becoming free online. But in the end, the newspapers and cable stations came to us, and I don’t know if you remember this and asked us to

 

pay for it. They said, hey, I’ll buy a subscription. And we all said, Why? I can get it for free online. And so we stopped paying for objective. You might remember up until the mid 80s or early 1990s, the two most important characteristics in any news network was trust.

 

And first, we wanted the most trustworthy news station who gave us the news first. Now, that is not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for free. We’re looking for immediate. And we’re looking for sensational. Truth is no longer part of the value proposition that we as Americans or most of us are looking for anymore.

 

So we said we’re not going to pay for subscriptions. And so what magazines, newspapers, cable are all going to do is basically said we’re going to sell more advertising. How do we sell more advertising? Make it more and more sensational?

 

What is the easiest way to make it sensational? It’s tribalism. It’s vilify another group, make us make us afraid of that other group. And what they discovered is both outrage and fear are actually addictive. So there are people unknowingly who get out every single day at five or six, 30.

 

They click on the same channel to get their basic shoot up, their daily dose of outrage porn. They are addicted to it and they can’t not have it if they didn’t have it. They would start getting kind of itchy and scratchy.

 

Like what isn’t isn’t the guy on? I gotta go watch my guy. They would feel like that that actually is addictive. So the media literally, not figuratively, says the best way for us to sell more ads is more eyeballs.

 

The best way to get more eyeballs is more fear and outrage by demonizing the other side. Not all the media, but a lot of the media is profiting by us going after one another. That’s how bad much of the media.

 

I mean, I generally agree with what you say, but I want to push back on something, because I, I feel like what I heard you say is that truth is not valued by that. But my belief is that each individual has their own truth and they’re looking for truth and they think they have the truth.

 

I mean, I don’t. You said that people are looking for sensationalism or whatever, whatever the three things you said, but you said truth is not a part of that equation. I. That it is, but they feel like hypothetically, if I dial into Fox News every day because that’s where I get my juice, that is truth to me.

 

Hmm.

 

Yes.

 

So, I mean, you know, there are people if you ask somebody what their truth is. Right, that is their truth in the world. You know my truth. If I if I’m somebody that watches Fox News, maybe then I’m put in that Republican pigeonhole.

 

And you know what Democrats are are stupid. And, you know, that’s that’s my truth. And Pelosi is irresponsible and she’s a crook. That’s my that’s my belief. Right. And then, of course, if you watch CNN, then, of course.

 

Well, anybody that watches Fox is a racist. All right. So so anyway, I agree. You tune in to the station that gives you that that juice that you’re addicted to. But I believe that it’s their truth, Peter. It’s our truth.

 

So, I mean, I don’t know, you know, what does that say? There are? Because if there is no truth, people I mean, people are just lost.

 

So the very first presentation you and I learned, you know, 25 years ago, it was in that presentation was perception is reality. Yeah. Which is another way articulating what you just said here, which is it’s my truth. And yes, I still stand by.

 

What I said is if you give people a choice of a station that confirms what they already believe. Yes. A station that gives them facts that may or may not. They will choose the station that confirms what they already believe.

 

All day long. Every day. Yeah. There are right now Internet channel’s Internet pages of books that will give them absolute factual information, which is more accurate than their current reality is. But they do not choose it. So I’m not saying that I think facts are among the most important thing in the world.

 

I mean, all leadership, all problem solving, all creativity all starts with a common agreement on what the facts are. You can’t do anything unless you have that. So I think facts are very important, but it’s not currently with the American population, populist, populist values.

 

What they value most is having somebody confirm what they believe is true and believe in facts are independent of one another. They’re two different things. So right now I could believe completely with all my heart that there is an actual man who lives in the North Pole and who magically gives presents to everybody.

 

Just because I believe that is true and it is true in my head. Is it a fact? No, no, not right now. Dan, I have some batteries in my hand. How many batteries do I have in my hand?

 

I don’t know. You don’t know. But it is a fact that I’ve got two batteries. But you had no belief. So beliefs and facts are actually independent of one another. And what I do every day when, by the way, I have no monopoly on the truth.

 

My reality is equally as warped and distorted as everybody else. The only thing I’ve got going for me is this is every morning I wake up and I go half of what I believe is not true. Let me find at least one thing that is wrong.

 

And the second thing is, all of my knowledge and all of my beliefs are temporary, pending new information. So I put everything in a tentative box until I get new information. And even that information is tentative. I really don’t fall into the trap of believing what I think.