Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who will the media pick on next?

What a relief it is that this week we’re not all talking about Ken Ring and his earthquake forecasts. Probably nobody’s more pleased about that than Ken. I know him slightly - he seems a nice guy. And I did buy one of his weather almanacs once. I didn't find it hugely accurate, but you can say the same thing about traditional forecasting – whether it’s about weather or finances.
For instance, just as New York’s huge money crisis was looming a few years ago, a TV host called Larry Kudlow (above right) kept on crowing to his audience, "there is no recession out there!' He was completely wrong. Guess what. He’s still one of the top news guys on Wall Street and still has his highly paid job.
What the controversy Ken Ring was really all about was potent combination of public fear, which was understandable, wound up by media hysteria and deepened by our own scientific ignorance. Really, it was the media that flogged the story to a frenzy. Hardly a day went by when they weren’t raving about things Ken had written many months before. They all loved to hate the 'Moon Man' – as they decided to label him.
It’s all one more sign that the news business is becoming ever more feverish and tabloid... like the front page headline in a recent Herald On Sunday that said ‘Wills and Kate Torn Apart – surely it won’t end this way’.
What? Was the world’s most famous couple splitting up?
Nah… the paper was talking about some perforated postage stamps from Nuie featuring him on one side – her on the other. Total tosh.
So…with Ken Ring comprehensively done over by the media, who’s next? Better be careful out there, people. These days, anyone, and anything, is fair game.

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