GOOD

Lame of Thrones: What the Royal Wedding Says About Our Damaged Media Culture

Most Americans don't care about the "big" event tomorrow. Why isn't the media listening to us?

A peculiar statistic came out at the end of last week. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, only 6 percent of Americans have been following news about tomorrow's royal wedding very closely, while only 22 percent are following it somewhat closely. In other words, only about a quarter of Americans care even marginally that, in about 24 hours, Prince William is set to marry his fiancée, Kate Middleton.


What's peculiar isn't that people are interested at all, of course—well, that's not what's most peculiar—what's peculiar is that you'd never be able to tell how few people are interested in Will and Kate if you've been paying attention to the press.

Search for "the royal wedding" on Google right now and, even after applying the "United States" regional filter, you'll still come up with nearly 80 million results. The New York Times has written about the royal wedding, as have the Washington Post, BoingBoing, Gawker, the New Yorker, New York, the Village Voice, and the LA Weekly. CNN, the Today show, Good Morning America, and E! will be broadcasting live from the event. Even GOOD, like Slate, has written about why you shouldn't pay attention to the garish parties of the monarchs.

In fact, if you can find a notable media outlet that hasn't covered the royal wedding, we'll send you a GOOD T-shirt.

All that is to say there appears to be a striking disparity between what Americans say they want and what the media is giving them. The question now becomes whether people are lying—saying they're uninterested in Will and Kate while actually devouring royal nuptials content every chance they get—or if the media is simply ignoring the interests of the majority in the hopes of drawing the attention of a fraction of the minority.

If you're in Vegas and you're told that your odds of winning a particular game are 28 percent, you likely don't play that game. So why are so many U.S. media outlets staking literally tens of thousands of dollars on covering something only 28 percent of people say they're just slightly interested in?

If you've been consistently ignoring the royal wedding, and all the while asking yourself, "What kind of people read this stuff?" know that you're not alone. Also know, however, that what you should instead be asking is, "Who decides people should read this stuff?"

Articles

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Since normalizing relations with Communist China back in 1979, the U.S. government and its companies that do business with the country have, for the most part, turned a blind-eye to its numerous human rights abuses.

In China's Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang, it's believed that over a million members of its Uighur population are being arbitrarily imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps. Female Uighurs in detention are being given forced abortions and subjected to sexual mistreatment.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

The vaping epidemic is like a PSA come to life. A recent outbreak of vaping-related deaths and illnesses has affected people from across 46 states. More than 800 people fell ill, and at least 17 people died from vaping. In Illinois and Wisconsin, 87% of the people who got sick said they used THC, and 71% of people also said they used products that contained nicotine. Symptoms of the illness included coughing, chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. We finally might now why.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic believe toxic chemical fumes, not the actual chemicals in the vape liquid, might be the culprit. "It seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agents," Dr. Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said in release.

Keep Reading Show less
Health