Saturday, June 22, 2013

Target demographics?

I found myself wondering last night why MSNBC, a nominal news network whose main programming thrust is news-style programming and talking head political commentary shows, spends so many hours on the weekends showing those "inside prison" type shows. You know, the ones that are titillating reality shows disguised as documentaries: "Lockup: Raw" and the like.

MSNBC's target demographic of soft, docile, toothless Midtown latte sippers would never want to share a cab with these people, no matter how much they may prattle about helping them come voting time, and the only interaction they'd ever have with T-Bone or Mad Dog in real life would be from the wrong end of a sharpened screwdriver, so why the voyeuristic fascination?

34 comments:

Jeffro said...

You are far braver than I. Thinking about MSNBC and their target audience makes my head hurt.

og said...

Everyone has to have someone to be better than.

Anonymous said...

Same as it ever was; they're just modern-day Romans...and headed in the same direction.

D.K. Winter said...

To scare the middle class, of course (paraphrasing George Carlin). To show those docile latte sippers what is out there and that such bad individuals could be coming to their neighborhood without support of Democratic "crime control" initiatives.

The fact they don't work is beside the point. Fear. Always about fear.

Anonymous said...

Bread and circuses my dears, just bread and circuses.

Matthew Walker said...

s/so why/hence/

Scott J said...

The TV in the break room at my office is either on Fox or MSNBC.

Whenever I see it on the latter I mumble "who tuned in minitru again?".

ISH (Mininerd) said...

"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …"

The Director pushed back the switch. The voice was silent. Only its thin ghost continued to mutter from beneath the eighty pillows.
"They'll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. A hundred and twenty times three times a week for thirty months. After which they go on to a more advanced lesson."

Brave New World, Chapter 1

Tam said...

Matthew Walker,

I used the words I meant to use.

Stanger said...

Malae naturae numquan doctorae indigent; Et omne ignotum pro magnifico est.

Peregrinius

wolfwalker said...

Tam: "so why the voyeuristic fascination?"

I've never watched such a show and never will, but I suspect your question contains the answer: it's voyeurism. Of the schadenfreud variety, taking pleasure in watching the tribulations of someone who is far worse, and far worse off, than they are. Every human has a psychological need to feel superior to somebody else. The lucky ones get to feel superior because they actually are superior in some way; the rest spend their lives in quiet, desperate search of someone who is so clearly so much worse than they are that they can feel superior to that person without guilt.

I also believe that it somehow involves the same impulse that leads otherwise normal people to find something entertaining about horror novels. I find absolutely nothing entertaining about spending time in somebody else's expertly-imagined nightmares. (Poorly imagined nightmares are, of course, even worse.) My real life is terrifying enough.

Old NFO said...

Gotta agree with both Og and Wolfwalker... Not the norm, so it's a 'thrill' for them...

Ed said...

The cost of generating that content like most "reality" TV is relatively low yet still generates sufficient revenue from the advertisers. The demographic that watches it is not distracted by other offerings that are at an even lower intellectual level.

"Beavis and Butthead" reruns, anyone?

Michael said...

Because, the terrible plight of those underprivileged youths is something that they can solidly lay at the feet of evil, privileged, white Republicans.

If only it wasn't for the heartless racism, these misunderstood souls would be leading productive, meaningful lives.

And besides, what else they gonna show on the weekend, actual news? Don't you know, if well intentioned bureaucrats aren't toiling away, then nothing of significance can possibly happen?

Matthew Walker said...

Tam,

I was trying to make a funny.

Phssthpok said...

Maybe I'm just overly dark in my lines of thinking, but my visceral/gut/first-instinct reaction was:

"Those shows are meant for the Latte-Sippers to consume as a way to 'keep them in line'. Three felonies a day, folks, and in light of the recent NSA/IRS combo-platter of scandals, what better way to scare Mom-n-Pop Murkin' into *not* getting outraged and taking action then to show them precisely where they'd wind up should they try to stand up to Daddy.Gov.

Anonymous said...

1. Mark Flowers is a true dedicated Christian but a non denominational and non church going Christian, a praying man upon his knees and he gives all credit to his survival to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his savoir and protector of him and his loved ones. Mark has to continually break all curses in Jesus Christ’s name, sent by witch craft and the Satanic agenda.

2. Mark Flowers is a fighter, a man that will never bow to any evil corruption, to DEATH.

3. Mark Flowers has had the fatherhood of his children stolen by the masons / system / The Australian Government.

4. Mark Flowers is a survivor of more than a decade of intense murderous Freemasonry Gang Stalking {a term he coined} and raised in the Federal Magistrates Court Parramatter Sydney Australia in 2009 & 2010 whilst defending his rights to father his children.

5. Mark Flowers has had so many attempts on his life in the process of Freemasonry gangstalking that they are too numerous to list, most have been whilst driving in road traffic accident setups by gangstalkers . But all manner of threats have come against Mark Flowers, One time a sour mason wielding a hammer at Mark’s head got a lesson in respect and kicked off Mark’s property. The police always fail to follow such death threats against Mark Flowers.

6. Mark Flowers has self-represented in some 60 appearances in the Federal Magistrates Court, the District Court and the Supreme Court in Australia and all with nil formal education, in fact Mark left school at 14 years and first job was in a lumber yard.

7. Mark Flowers is a Father first, and a former children’s safety film producer, but the dogs of gangstalking were released on him for doing so. Mark has been fighting ever since and will never give in, as the eternity in spirit and fear of God through Christ Jesus motivates him to be fearless against evil.

If I fall in this good fight it will be into the arms of my saviour Jesus Christ.

Brother Mark

http://www.markflowers.org/

Bubblehead Les. said...

Hmm. Time to clean the Spam Filters, I see.

Anyway, so why the Fascination? Maybe because they think they are Immune from Prosecution because they are "Special"; and/or they keep thinking "If only we could get those Vast-Right Wing Clingers in there?"

Josh K. said...

Mark Flowers is my new hero.

I think I will go to Mark Flowers website & leave a really long comment discusing the pros & cons of LOL Cats vs. LOL Dogs, with lots of suporting pictures, because I need to thank Mark Flowers for taking the time to come here and introduce us to such a great man as Mark Flowers.

Or not.

Professor James Moriarty said...

But Mark Flowers never swore NOT to refer to himself in the Third Person and no Freemason Thuggery will make him stop referring to himself in the Third Person.

Speaking in the Third person is the ONLY way for Mark Flowers to break free of the curse of the Witchcraft/ Satanic Agenda.

"If I fall in this good fight it will be into the arms of my savior Jesus Christ."

Oh Nooooo!

You broke out of character Mark! Now, they will come for you...

Windy Wilson said...

What Og said. Are these shows cheaper to produce than the Jerry Springer Show?

Fear and pecking order are good reasons, too.

global village idiot said...

1) MSNBC displays caged, predatory humans for the same reason the zoo displays caged, predatory cats.

2) No less a character than David Frost said, "Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you would never allow in your home." It was right when he said it back in the 60s or 70s and it's still right today.

3) So Australian Freemasons (so I gather) have it in for Mark Flowers. Y'know - I was just at Indiana's Grand Lodge session last month and NOTHING about this matter came up under Communications! I promise to get to the bottom of it and let you (and my Grand Lodge) know the outcome.

4) Mr. Mark Flowers - Cheers!

Fraternally,
gvi

rickn8or said...

"And besides, what else they gonna show on the weekend, actual news?"

An in-depth analysis of the now-traditional late Friday data dump maybe?

rickn8or said...

And again, a big "Thank you" to Tam for watching MSNBC so the rest of us don't have to.

Roberta X said...

It's sexual, Tam, and the details (so poorly understood by the fascinated hordes of MSNBC viewers, not to mention producers and presenters) would horrify Dr. Ruth and make radio morning-show hosts urp in their coffee.

Sekrit woid: "Aolloar Cluds." Mr. Cluds is currently doing 20-to-life in Joliet for beating a tiny pimp to death with a fireplug while riding a unicycle and shouting "Verboten! Verboten!" He hopes to qualify for early release and run for the U.S. Senate. But I digress.

Robin said...

Roberta wins da thread.

BobG said...

Virtual slumming. That way you don't have to worry about stepping in anything icky.

David said...

Same reason people watch Honey Boo Boo...so they can feel superior to someone. Clearly, some demographics require a pretty low bar to achieve that.

Aesop said...

That would be Transition Training for the MAIG crowd and other Democrat operatives.

B.J. said...

I remember reading that the weekend "prison" shows are where MSNBC gets the majority of its veiwer ratings. Everything else on during the week tanks. They gotta pay the bills somehow...

NotClauswitz said...

It's like a monster movie - and then Gov. Brown says he has to release 10,000 prisoners because Teh Court says so - and everybody respectz TehCourt and TehCopz, right? Because none of the chinless latte sippers haz Glocks, so you gotta let the Cops be Cops and the NSA be the NSA and they can take care of it after all that's what those massive pensions are all about. Dangerous job.

LawDog said...

People have ever had a fascination with the exotic, the mysterious and the dangerous.

In other times we marvelled to tales of The Orient; we packed halls to listen to the recounting of harrowing adventures in Darkest Africa; and we kept many a pulp magazine afloat by buying up the issues that described derring-do in the Amazon.

Today, the mystery is gone from those places. With the Internet, not only can you find out every last minutae via Wikipedia, but you can probably have a video chat with a Mongol, or have a bulletein board discussion with a multiple Hottentots.

If you're looking for an alien culture, with wierd taboos and cultural mores, an exotic language, mysterous rituals and ever-present danger to thrill you ...

... Well, some of our nastier prisons pretty much fill the bill.

LawDog

Brian N. said...

It's no different than Mrs. Wilson telling darky tales. Both the leery-eyed gaze upon an image (conjured, in Wilson's case) of depravity carries with it an element to satisfy their smug narcissism; they are the way and the light towards which these benighted underclasses must turn to receive salvation - they will receive truth, composition and moral completion as a gift dispensed by the will of higher beings - the progressive class themselves.

Anonymous said...

All of the above was said succinctly by Neil Postman..."Amusing ourselves to death...".

He said, and I agree, that it the far more likely (and in my view far more dastardly and pathetic) end of our society than Orwell's vision.