Trust Me, I'm Lying
Confessions of a Media Manipulator
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You've seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don't know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.
I'm a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs-as much as any one person can.
In today's culture...
1) Blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post drive the media agenda.
2) Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.
3) Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch-online and off.
Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I'm tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I'm pulling back the curtain because I don't want anyone else to get blindsided.
I'm going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
An very important book. Don't get distracted by whether it is a lie.
It's impossible to not ask whether the author is pulling your leg the same way he describes doing to everybody else. I don't think so, but it wouldn't matter. Spend a few weeks looking at social media through this lens and you'll see the social disease that it has become. And you need to know.
The Con is On
Okay, he does what he says; explaining the cons, naming names because in his heart he is repentant. Got it.
The book gets bogged down in repentance here and there, but can be a juicy read when he outlines the dirty tricks campaigns he's waged to put products and people on the map. I picked this up, figuring there would be the "media backlash" and so far only a couple of people have taken the bait, mostly the creator of a website that admittedly lazy or stressed journalists use to be able to claim "unnamed sources" on their articles, columns et al.
WHY TO READ THIS
It will help you suss out the fake news stories if you haven't done so already. If you are seeking publicity, it does give you kind of a roadmap whereby you can draw your own moralistic line in the sand. Also you can enjoy the media's penchant for making more copy out of a somewhat non-issue. This will play into his hand, as he points out.
WHY TO SKIP IT OR NOT TAKE IT TO HEART
The repentant Mr. Holiday goes a little too far as con artists often do, and it sounds as hollow as a child's piano. The writing at times rambles, and whoever his editor was, was either asleep at the wheel reigning him in, or was instructed not to go there. You also may come away realizing that you have been expertly duped to buy this exposé thereby adding to what he craves: more hits, more pickups in news, blogs and magazines. This, he says is his intent.
Interesting, odd, but hardly the "blowing the lid off" expose the writer and his publisher imagine.