Thursday, October 15, 2009

If I see more of this garbage from the Daily Beast...

I will not be getting my news from them anymore.

First, a little back story. As I recall, the first time I heard about the Daily Beast was soon after it's online debut. Tina Brown was on Joe Scarborough's morning program discussing the site and I was instantly interested. I checked it out immediately and was quite impressed from the beginning.

The idea of an aggregated news website wasn't a new concept, of course, but I thought the Daily Beast was an excellent attempt at it. The best I'd seen. I liked that they offered a lot of different viewpoints. I could catch up easily on much of the latest goings on, skipping what didn't interest me and getting either a cursory or in-depth perspective on the news event in question. Sure, it focused on a lot of sensationalized garbage that the mainstream media tends to obsess over, but most subjects were important, many of the articles were good, and a majority of the comments from bloggers seemed intelligent. It became, for me, a nearly daily source of news. I also enjoyed expressing my opinion there from time to time, as well.

Over time—especially over the last 6 months—I've noticed more and more superficial drivel there. It's been most disappointing, this increasing focus on celebrity news, fashion, and cooking (don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking but don't consider it newsworthy). To me, just like I'd noticed with Time magazine, there was an elitist bent that seemed to increasingly permeate the site, depicting a world completely alien from common, working class people, and drowning out far more life-altering news events. More and more I found that less and less of the top 7 articles on the main page were worth reading.

I've continued returning to the Daily Beast hoping that somehow, some way things would improve. But, I think this latest article has been, for me, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. It was bad enough when I read an article several months ago in Time magazine about mobile-phone applications that help adulterers carry out their despicable cheating with greater secrecy, but now, I'm discovering via the Daily Beast that there are hotels & restaurants that will help facilitate adulterous relationships!

Now, the fact that some (non-brothel) businesses were more than willing to aid spouses who cheat disgusted me to no end, but I was just as disgusted discovering that they are getting publicity for their 'services' via a fairly mainstream source of news aggregation. And the article didn't read like: can you believe that hotels and even restaurants are training their staff to ensure their client's adulterous relationships are kept discreet? What is marriage and fidelity coming to? Rather, it read like the latest article in what businesses are doing to be more environmentally friendly, and how you can find and support them!

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't expect a church-lady sermon, but a glamorization of adultery or businesses that aid adulterers is, to me, despicable and completely unacceptable. Just a little shock that some businesses have become this amoral would be nice. But, just like the personal's site AshleyMadison.com, this seems to be just another sign of the times in the age of anything goes.

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