Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The news is F'd-up.

So I'm reading this article on prostitution, you know, since I have that app, the "prostitution news feed," that's from Time magazine. And it's about a small town in California where some local residents have joined together to discourage prostitutes from plying their trade around the residents' homes in the neighborhoods. At at the end of the first paragraph, I see this:
"Vallejo lately has become a magnet for the sex trade for one simple reason: the city is flat broke. If Vallejo is any indication, things could get pretty crazy in other cash-strapped cities across the country. (TIME's Twitter 140: See the world's most influential tweeters.)"
WTF? What does Twitter have to do with prostitution? Wait. Let me rephrase that. What does microblogging have to do with prostitution? Who decides which links are appropriate for embedding within a news story? I read a little further and see:
"'I leave my house at 7 in the morning and sometimes see girls working on the streets that early,' says Kathy Beistel, block captain of the Kentucky Street Watch Owls. 'There's no peak time — it's all peak time.' (See photos of the history of sex on TV.)"
And then there are two more links after paragraphs that are just as inappropriately tied to the story. Is this desperation? I can't imagine that the person who has this job at Time can't find articles that are more closely related to the subject of this prostitution story. Really? Sex on TV is just like real prostitution? With dirty hookers doing it in alleyways? And their disgusting Johns? So now I have to check to see if Time does this with everything, and yes, it does. An article about the movie Sucker Punch links to "photos of movies' best loved costumes" directly after" mentioning that one character wears a "Japanese schoolgirl outfit as retailored by Victoria's Secret." At least that's a close link. But what do people think when they see these vaguely similar or completely unrelated links? Do people click on these? I'm reading about prostitution in a small town, but half way through the article I suddenly lose focus and decide to read "if sex addiction is a real disease or just an excuse" (this is an actual link found in the prostitution article)? Does the typical Time reader have an attention span that short that the editors don't think someone can finish an entire article without wanting to click away to something else??? That would be like a TV show made of snippets of other TV shows as if to give the viewer the impression that he was changing channels, so as to trick him to keep tuned to this one show. Wow. Is that genius, or what? Maybe Time is on to something.

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