One thing I’ve noticed about millennials is how quickly they assign accomplished titles to themselves before they’ve accomplished anything. I’ve had to get on my assistant about this repeatedly as she’s prone to set up interviews with people requesting my time who sound off with impressive titles like “journalist” or “producer” or “film director” only to find out later that they are actually producers of f*ck all. A millennial with a blog is now a “journalist”; one who has self-published a book on Amazon is an “author”; one who can aim an iPhone and edit the footage in iMovie is called a “filmmaker”, and one who can set up a podcast on the Maximum Fun network is magically transformed into an “investigative journalist.”
I would assign to Ross and Carrie the more applicable title of “silly wankers”, but after reading Richard Harvey’s article on how pseudo journalists abuse the epithet, I will restrain from exercising my natural instincts, and instead refer to them simply as “wankers.”
When someone does an “attack piece” like this Ross and Carrie podcast, it really puts us, the target, in a tough position. Based on their iTunes reviews and their Facebook posters, I would estimate that R&C have few listeners. And unless mum and daddy paid for it, Carrie is drowning in student loans from the University of Spoiled Children. That means her podcast needs to start churning a profit — and quick — or she’ll be joining Ross bussing tables at the Olive Garden when she’s not pushing papers for PETA.
Without growing their base of listeners, they’ll have no corporate sponsors to prostitute for, and no steady stream of new, soft-hearted saps they can target their call-to-action buttons to, “Click Now To Donate!” So the Ross and Carrie attack piece is just a troll of sorts. The more outrageous their accusations, the more fervent our backlash, and the more we talk about them and the more links we throw up, the more people will visit their podcast. Hence we, like witless saps, fall for their troll.
Not to mention, the more we retaliate, the more the R&C crowd can cry, “thou doth protest much! Thou must therefore be guilty!” Or if we pound on them too heavy handedly, they can turn the tables and play victim and rally their followers with, “look how mean these people are being to us!” Kind of like the little kid who constantly nags and picks at his older brother until the elder finally gives him a well-deserved beating — at which point the little brat runs to his parents tattling, “Johnny hit me!”
So, it is a bit of a predicament these two wankers have put us in. I think Richard Harvey’s work on making a list of all their mistakes will show their inherent bias and ineptitude, but I frankly don’t have time for that kind of detail, so hopefully he keeps it up. Ross and Carrie aren’t worth 5 seconds of my time, however, that’s the way we all reacted to the Gretchen Voss hit piece 11 years ago. Stories of sex, money and power will always galvanise the lowest common denominator of society, and that’s how people like Gretchen Voss and Ross and Carrie attempt to sell their stories.
Voss wormed her way into an interview with Pastor promising a story about women in the pulpit, but that ruse quickly turned into an ambush of porn allegations and Pastor hasn’t been interested in talking to a journalist since. Dr. Scott had remarked that when he finally met a journalist with half-a-brain that was interested in what was going on “between the ears” rather than what was going on “between the legs”, he might actually consent to an interview. A positive story about how a Pastor transformed a ministry? That’s not what the unwashed masses want. An uplifting story about a woman breaking through the glass ceiling of a male dominated profession? Of course not! Give the masses more dirty laundry! Tales of porn, of sex, money and abuse of power! That’s how R&C animate their sycophants and it’s how sensationalist journalists have operated since yellow journalism’s inception.
In the case of Gretchen Voss, our attitude of, “I’m not going to dignify that nonsense with a response” only allowed the errant tales of the alt-fans to run loose to an even wider segment of the internet audience. Since lazy journalists will always come along at a later time and repost what the last journalist wrote, the alt-fan tales have proliferated and are now repeated as fact ad infinitum. Ross and Carrie demonstrate this perfectly. They have nothing new to tell us. They have discovered nothing. All they have done is unearthed a stale turd from the alt-fans shite house, polished it, and presented 20+ year old information to their listeners as if they had uncovered something new. After of course, months, nay years of painstaking investigative work on their part! “We’re going deep on this one folks!” Yeah, they went deep all right, deep into the alt-fans, ancient cesspool.
So part of me thinks that Ross and Carrie are just out for a troll to grow their audience, but another part of me thinks something else is going on. In my years of being interviewed, I’ve yet to meet a journalist whose life’s mission didn’t boil down to something as simple as “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Journalists exhibit an interesting mix of skepticism and naivete’ — of envy and compassion and they totally believe in the concept of the “story.” Unfortunately, stories need drama to be interesting, and if there isn’t enough drama in simply reporting the facts, they are prone to create it themselves. Not to mention how journalists’ elevated sense of envy inevitably leads them to view successful people with suspicion and often causes them to errantly project motives that consist solely of personal vanity, or acquisition for acquisition’s sake onto their wealthier targets.
Richard Harvey can correct me if I’m wrong, but I would name Watergate as a turning point. Journalists now see themselves as guardians of truth and morality in a corrupt society. Woodward and Bernstein brought down a government for Cliff’s sake, and since then I think journalism also started to attract people interested in exercising power and becoming stars. I would say the journalists I’ve worked with also pride themselves on being “insiders”, those in the know, those who can comprehend the real reason behind things as opposed to the “official explanation.” And while I used money as a motivator earlier, I really don’t think Ross and Carrie started their podcast to make money. I think they see their job as one of exposing the bad guys for the public good.
So, combine that idealistic drive to expose the bad guy (or bad girl in this case), with the secularists’ natural sense of superiority and the deeply held conviction that all religions are equally invalid, and it’s only natural that Ross and Carrie would be drawn into the alt-fans deluded world in order to overly dramatize an otherwise mundane story. After all, they believe they can single handedly expose a fraudster, rescue us — the flock of feeble-minded knaves from her tight grip, and once-and-for-all dispose of this damnable myth of Christianity that held both Ross and Carrie in such dire bondage during their formative years.
Can you imagine the pats on the back? The “atta-boys” and “atta-girls” and loving admiration they’ll receive from their peers in the Skeptic Society when they break this exclusive? It’s every approval junky’s wet dream. And who knows? Maybe they’ll even get a slot on NPR to recount their adventures to an even wider audience and forever cement their legacy alongside that of Woodward and Bernstein.
All I can say is, it’s nice to have a dream, Ross and Carrie, because without a dream, dreams can never come true…
Sweet dreams…The Spieler