According to the new Pew Research Center for People and the Press’ Weekly News Interest Index, the American people wanted the media to talk about the economy, and instead they got Anthony Weiner.
According to the Weekly News Interest Index, the Anthony Weiner scandal was the most covered news story last week. Stories relating to Weinergate made up 17% of the media coverage. Weiner got more coverage than the economy (11%), the 2012 election (8%), the Arizona wildfires (4%), and Libya (3%).
This would be all well and good if the American people were highly interested in Weiner, but what people really wanted to talk about was the economy. Twenty three percent of those surveyed listed the economy as the story they were most interested in, but the economy only received 11% of the coverage.
The respondents were not only more interested in the economy but they also they also thought that the media gave the Weiner scandal too much coverage, as 63% of those surveyed thought that the story was over covered. While 39% said they followed reports about the economy very closely, only 15% followed the Weiner scandal very closely. A whopping 57% said that that didn’t follow the scandal at all.
Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree that the Weiner story had been over covered. Sixty eight percent of Democrats, 57% of Republicans, and 66% of Independents all think that Weinergate has gotten too much coverage. Anthony Weiner’s political scandal has been less closely followed than the scandals involving Mark Foley and Elliot Spitzer (26% each), Larry Craig (17%), and Mark Sanford (16%).
If the American people care more about the economy than Anthony Weiner, then why do the media continue to feed a public endless coverage of scandal that a majority of people aren’t following? The answer is because scandal stories are cheap and easy to cover. Stories about the economy have been deemed too boring for the American people by those who run the corporate media.
In the past, political sex scandals have sold well. They boost ratings and attract casual viewers that might not pay much attention to politics. However, the media is finding out that self sex doesn’t sell. There really isn’t much to the Anthony Weiner scandal. Pervy congressman liked to talk dirty, send pictures of himself, and spank the monkey. He lied about it. He confessed it all, and that is pretty much it. Without the presence of actual real sex, this story has sort of fallen flat in terms of being a juicy ratings getter.
There is no senator trying to pick up men in a bathroom, or Appalachian Trail, or anti-gay crusader trying to hustle sex out of House pages, there aren’t even any prostitutes. The Weiner scandal is kind of lame. Once he confessed, and no more bombshells came out, the story was over.
At its root, there is a chicken and egg argument here. Do the American people want hard news, and the media feeds them fluff, or is the media responding to what the American people want? The problem is that since news divisions and cable networks have become profit generating entities for their corporate owners, the American people don’t really have a choice.
The news is now considered entertainment. The powers that be don’t view stories about the economy as something that will lure casual viewers in, so they stick to sex scandals and hope that sordid developments ignite the public’s interest.
The media is more obsessed with the Anthony Weiner scandal than the American people. America wants to hold a serious conversation while the media can’t stop talking about Anthony Weiner’s c**k.
And we wonder why so many Americans are uninformed.