When I was in high school, I was a big fan of not having friends. It was mostly my toxic personality, my metal mouthed Resting Bitter Face, and my massive introversion complex that allowed to skate by without friends for the most part. Unfortunately, one guy tricked me into being his friend by bribing me with all the answers on the math final. I thought it was just for the math answers, but he continued to hang out near my locker and going to classes with me. I kept him around for the lunches mostly, because I needed someone to sit at my table at lunch, so I could plot the best way to get rejected by the hot girls in our school or talk enviously about sitting at the popular table (even though I would hate sitting at those tables too, because talking).
The nice thing about only having one friend, was that either he or I were mostly busy after school, working or doing family or church stuff. Every once in a while, though, he would corner me and ask me to do stuff after school, which was like a nightmare. Doing things after school? That would be like doing stuff with co-workers after work. 😬 No bueno.
I finally relented and we had to figure out something to do. We were both big fans of basketball and making fun of color commentators on TNT. One day we decided to get out my video camera (containing VHS tapes) and recorded each other throwing airballs over our heads, then pausing, and “fooling” people into thinking we made amazing shots. (If only we knew viral videos like this would make people a bunch of money someday). Or recording from waist up while using our trampoline to dunk the 8-foot hoop in my driveway. Then we did some color commentating that mocked our least favorite commentators. “So, here’s the situation…there’s 20 seconds on the clock. Michael Jordan has a decision to make here. He could drive to the hoop right past all 4 of his teammates, do a 360 dunk on two opponents, OR he could throw it into the post to Bitter Ben who shoots 30% from the right block on his 8-foot driveway hoop when no one is guarding him. I think we all know exactly what Michael is going to do. He’s going to throw it Bitter Ben!”
Then I would go on to blow the shot and ruin the championship for Michael Jordan. Which was the plan all along, because I was a Spurs fan.
If you go back to the early 90’s when my friend and I were doing cringe-inducing color commentary, and awful editing to fool people, trust in the media was at an all-time high. Is it coincidence that trust has been falling ever since that time? Or did we just start the trend? Hard to say.
Back then, we had really trustworthy people telling us the news, like Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Ron Burgandy, and Brick Tamland. We knew if Tom, Ron or Brick read exactly what was on the teleprompter it was true and important. We knew when Ron Burgandy was explaining that time that NBA player Jessica Simpson was driving her white Ford Broco slowly down the California freeway, she was running from a fashion emergency. We knew everything they told us was true, because they would never lie to us.
The problem was behind the scenes, Al Gore was busy inventing the internet, and soon random untrustworthy people like you and me got to participate in the news. And when people like us get to participate, things get really hairy. Lies were being exposed. Like the time when highly credible sites like Wikipedia and MySpace got ahold of my video tape and exposed the amazing slam dunks footage as “fake”. It was then the trust in the media and talking heads like Ron Burgandy started to tank.
Trust the media in Ron Burgundy’s hovered around 100% but has eroded down to somewhere near 16% for newspapers and 11% for television news. According to the media. Another thing that I’m just going to make up right now is that trust in blog media is at 8%, according to the highly made-up poll I just came up with using my intuition and imagination.
If those statistics are real, then we have a real problem here. Those numbers are WAY TOO HIGH and we need to work much harder to lower those to 0%. I have the solution. I’m going to take over all the media.
First, I’m going to purchase all the newspapers, which I believe I can do with the change in my pockets. I have no change in my pockets. Okay, I’ll pull out the $20 in my pocket, but I expect change back of $19.32. We’ll start lowering credibility with them immediately, by paying kids some left over candy in my candy jar to deliver internet links to people’s porches every day.
Then, we’ll take over the internet by sending out highly uncredible pictures of Zuckerberg from Facebook still using his MySpace account, which will end Meta or Facebook or whatever you call it. Then I’ll have someone hack Google, order a billion dollars of stuff on Amazon and then return it all, and mix in a few actually true things on Wikipedia, and all of sudden there will be no reason to use the internet.
News stations and TV, those will be easily ended. I’ll have my buddy Optimus Prime and his Autobot friends just take out a few key “Transformers” that allow all the stations to air, and TV and radio won’t have any way to transmit.
Then the only media we will have left is my blog, which as you know, is already coming in at 0% credibility, and the trust in the media will be back to it’s all time low of 0%, which it will never recover from.
Don’t ever say I didn’t do anything for you all, my 26 loyal readers. I fix problems. All I will need from you is funding, because it isn’t cheap to take down the media and restore its credibility down to 0% where it should have been in the first place.
Please send all your money to my Venmo (@ben-gardner-18), because if you don’t, it will go to my wife and she might buy that castle she’s been eyeing, along with a mote and accidentally forget to give me the password for the drawbridge. And if I’m alligator food, this whole plan of taking over the media won’t work. Because it doesn’t work without me.
Bitter Media Giant Ben