Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Entire Media Sucks: Especially on Deflategate

Earlier today, blog favorite and Deadspin hot-take artist Drew Magary wrote a long piece making fun of different sports columnists and their awful Deflategate takes. Like most of his pieces, it was funny, used ALL CAPS successfully, and tried to not be a hot take while really being a hot take.

Here, Magary's take was, of course, that awful sportswriters have over-the-top takes and shitty puns to make about Deflategate. The real take should be, of course, the media -- who has literally two weeks of content to find about one game -- will blow a story out of proportion. This is how media works: every paper and site has to churn out content day after day regardless of the actual news value of that content. This is why eleven days before the Super Bowl, the media has not found anything more interesting to do than pearl clutch about deflated balls and think of the children. That's the domain of hacky sports writers with two weeks of stories to write.

Deadspin and other snarky blogs are no different. There are currently five different posts on Deadspin's main page about Deflategate. Deadspin and places like KissingSuzyKolber aren't as different from traditional media sites as they want you to believe. They are running a business. Their business relies on people clicking on their links and subliminally buying the ads that are hidden on the page. That's why every sports writer has to come up with a take on this story, whether it's making fun of other people for having takes or screaming for some accountability and justice. Each site might have different content and angles they take, but they are all guilty of milking every possible page view out of a story.

Deadspin's biggest fault is that they try and pretend that's not the case. But every time any big story happens, they trot out Magary for his quick "Balls Deep" take. Deadspin is just as guilty as your local columnist -- they are just funnier and more "edgy." Great, yay, in the end it's all the same. As long as  media sites are tied to a business model that demands as many page views as possible, we will see everyone's take, from the pearl clutching to the takenami to the nerds in the basement making fun of everyone else's takes. The twenty-four-hour news cycle is awful. This is not news.

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