The recent media orgasm over Christina Hendrik’s weekend Guardian interview in which she revealed that her agent dropped her for taking the role of Joan in Mad Men perfectly exposed just how ridiculous media and journalistic gossip has become.
Suddenly hundreds of magazines, newspapers, online publications, and blogs were predictably republishing the same apparently exciting headline: “Christina Hendricks says agency dropped her over ‘Mad Men’”, as if they had the scoop. Yeah right, them and 500 other outlets!
Author, self proclaimed media manipulator, and director of marketing for American Apparel, Ryan Holliday, talks about this more recent journalistic culture as “the radar of influence” and pins it as “lazy journalism.” Lazy indeed, since only one of those multi-hundreds of publications actually interviewed Hendricks.
When interviewing our SheRa Mag cover girl, AnnaLynne McCord, she spoke of the same sentiment with regards to the Somaly Mam conspiracy whereby media outlets across the globe almost exclusively ran with Simon Mark’s Newsweek story, without any investigation of their own. She added that as soon as her own Cosmopolitan interview was published in which she revealed that she was a victim of sexual assault, the same story appeared in hundreds of other publications. “Not one of them actually picked up the phone and called me or my reps to gain confirmation the facts.”
In a recent Radio National interview in Australia, Holliday explained of this current media climate: “For a hundred years we thought that the media was based on trust and objectivity and accuracy. Well now that’s fundamentally changed. And part of the problem is we still apply these standards even though the results don’t match, and so we need to update a lot of those assumptions.”