Word For The Day: Undernews

Undernews – (Noun) News that is widely available on the Internet (particularly blogs) but doesn’t get much (or any) attention in the Mainstream Media.

I didn’t coin the term.  It’s been kicking around for years.  What can I say; I don’t always keep up with the vocabulary of the cool kids.  Can ya’ dig it?

At any rate it’s a concept I use all the time.  I’ll bump into some tidbit on the intertubes and make a few checks to make sure I’m not falling for the next joke to be posted on Snopes.  Eventually I’ll bring the topic up in a conversation with a normal human being (as opposed to a newshound or blogger).  In general, folks will react as if I’ve got antennae coming out of my head (I’m used to it).  Other times they’ll say “oh yeah I heard that on the Daily Show” and I’ll know the “undernews” has made it to the “mainstream”.

Here are a few bits of “undernews”.  A few became too big to ignore, others are still in the “ignore it and it’ll go away” phase.  Consider:

That’s just a sample.  I think it’s a good way to calibrate the difference between “reality” and whatever the heck everyone is hearing from the talking heads on TV.  The gap between what is true and what people believe obviously ebbs and flows.  In particularly the proximity to a major or mid term election seems to widen it.  You won’t be surprised that the letter after the sitting president’s name (“D” or “R”) makes up a huge portion of the gap.  (One of the unexpected advantages of a Republican president is that “journalists” take off their cheerleader’s outfits and start mercilessly hammering the guy in the big chair.  I’ll take rabid hacks to fluffers anyday!)

Rather than flail around wishing for mainstream news which reports… um… true things.  I choose to be thankful that I’m no longer under their thumb.  We have the Internet; lucky us!  In 2013 a citizen’s degree of misinformation is partially self inflicted; in 1965 you had to hope Walter Cronkite wasn’t totally full of shit.  (Also, 2013 is when I enjoy the schadenfreude of watching newspapers that used have a stranglehold on my news lose money like it’s an Olympic sport.)

A.C.

P.S. Hat tip to a recent National Review article: A Delayed Public Reaction to Obama Scandals? Or No Reaction at All? and a 2008 Huffington Post article: Why Won’t The Media Cover Edwards? Because They Don’t Have To Yet.  (Backstory: For those of you that don’t recall, John Edwards was a long time senator well into his 2008 candidacy for president when the story gradually and reluctantly broke that he’d had an affair, fathered an illegitimate child, and allegedly used campaign funds to pay off his mistress.  The undernews had been around forever but it took, ironically, the National Enquirer, to finally print what everyone had been pondering.  After that the rest of the press had no choice to by follow up.  His wife, in late stages of cancer, legally separated from Edwards but died in 2010 before she could jump through the hoops to officially file for divorce. By 2011 Edwards was indicted on six counts of violating campaign finance laws.  The 2012 result was five mis-trials and one not guilty.)

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One Response to Word For The Day: Undernews

  1. Grog says:

    AC, here’s a word suggestion for tomorrow.
    Underhill
    This is what DC should be known as from now on, because there’s a hell of a lot more work that gets accomplished all over the country compared to the district.

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