...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What's hype? What isn't.

When I started this blog, I thought I'd be writing about TV and radio commercials, the occasional outrageous political overstatement--you know, fun stuff.

But, hype is no longer used just to sell movies. Hype is the default minimum volume setting for the presentation of all kinds of mission-critical information, for instance, which drug to prescribe. Or to pressure your doc to prescribe. How prevalent is erectile dysfunction, really?

Hype is the minimum level of media description for danger and destruction. Think how wimpy the word "devastated" sounded when applied to The Tsunami. We finally had the definitive devastating event, and we had exhausted all our maximum words on car wrecks and everyday grief.

Here's my hype for today: In spite of all our communications technology and sophistication--or maybe because of them--it's now possible to fool most of the people most of the time, even to convince them to ignore the facts when the deception is revealed.

This blog will continue to be an outpost of hype deflation. It's more important work than I thought.

I hardly know where to start.

Well, here's a place. [LINK] FAIR sifts through the detritus of the Presidential debate "bulge" story. (Thanks for the link, MediaBistro) Be sure to read through to the end, where the New York Times "Public Editor" confirms the facts.

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