Façades and empty gestures are rife in public life. If it is a choice between a plain box with the solution to a problem or an empty box with an ego-stroking and colourful façade, there would be a bigger line-up for the empty box than the quiet one that had substance without the flash.
CBS’s fictional show Murphy Brown is back and it is a preachy monologue about journalism, an irony as the its mother network has booted out three of their male titans for very bad behaviour, and now are rudderless with their Great Men façade.
60 Minutes is still being touted as hard investigative journalism, when it has mostly been advertorials for books, tycoons, celebrities, and Ivy League schools. That’s not investigative journalism.
Just tell the little people just how important you are, and the rubes will parrot you.
But not everyone is a rube.
Not everyone buys the veneer of gravitas. If they did, the Three Kings over at CBS would still be employed.
There are those in journalism who knew how to employ stratagems — feints and ruses — in order to seem more important than they actually were.
It had nothing to do with the substance of information gathering.
The alternative looks at what is inside the box, and deconstructs the box itself.
Not just in covering events, but ensuring its own profession doesn’t become all hype and no substance in the bargain…