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Distorting Democracy and Making Money

The Angertainment Industry

It’s been decades in the making, but in today’s news environment, responsible journalism is confronted by a deluge of irresponsible reporting, conspiracy theorizing and plain and simple lying. In some instance, the misinformation is bought and paid for.  Anyone can set up a web site, claim to be presenting facts and say what they want people to think. 

The angertainment industry, however, represents an older, better established and profit-making branch of the miscommunication industry.

The model for angertainment is simple.  Present “news” that incites viewers/listeners to anger. Make sure your program is well done with good production values, engaging music, great visuals for TV, smooth transitions, good interviews with guests who can help gin up anger and outrage.  Now that you have a loyal audience.  Sell lots of advertising. 

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Every morning, dozens of radio and television producers are getting up in the morning thinking: “What can we do today to get our listeners/viewers angry today.  What can we say to generate outrage.  How can we keep them tuned in today, and tomorrow and the next day, so we can sell our advertising?

It’s entertainment.  It keeps viewers/listeners hooks by keeping them angry.  It’s good business. And it is, I believe, an extraordinarily destructive force – a serious threat to our nation.