The most common gimmick in the media these days is the use of sensationalism for the sake of garnering web hits, it’s far too common but it’s become so common because it’s such an effective tool, what’s the easiest way to get someone to your page? Offer up some sort of controversy, and what do you do if the story you’re reporting on really doesn’t have anything all that controversial?
Take the most basic or mundane comments and hype them up as someone being put on blast by another individual, attempt to create a war where there isn’t even a slight chance of one actually occurring. Enough people are so ignorant that they’ll believe everything they read, even if it’s of questionable ethics.
As a huge fan of Metallica I tend to follow just about any article I see that comes about which mentions the band or any of it’s members, one of the more recent stories I had stumbled upon was the controversy over Metallica playing the Glastonbury festival. This story was an example of actual controversy occurring, not just some website grabbing a snippet from a comment during an interview and creating a lead that makes it seem as if there was more to the story than just a passing comment.
There really are some hard feelings from a few of the more “technically proficient” bands at the event who feel Metallica doesn’t fit the typical mold of bands at this event, also James Hetifield’s inclusion as narrator on The Hunt on the History Channel doesn’t jive with the more vegan/hippie personalities of the fan of said event.
The new supposed controversy sees Metallica launching into a non-existent war with a couple of their contemporaries, specifically The Scorpions and KISS. You see, in a recent interview James Hetfield, when asked about the band possibly hanging it up sometime down the road, made a mention that he didn’t want to be like KISS or The Scorpions. One of the most common trends in music is that bands will launch “farewell tours” only to turn around and and tour again, KISS being one of the most common offenders.
Hetfield said that he felt that having multiple “farewell” tours actually hurt the fans because it makes something that’s supposed to be such a big deal into just another tour, it’s a common money making trick, but it’s also something that should be stopped. As a result the headline reads that James Hetfield has blasted these other bands, when all he did was say he didn’t think they way they’ve retired and unretired, and that Metallica wouldn’t ever be doing the same.
Now, would that be enough to get people to come to read the article that aren’t massive fans of the band like myself? Of course not, so what do you do in place of actually reporting facts? Take a rather mundane comment and amp it up to ten in the hopes of gaining web hits. It’s a good thing I’m not a true reporter, this article might wind up with a title like “Chris Surrency Slams Fox News for Salacious Lies.” Sure, they may be known for that, but I certainly haven’t slammed them for it, after all I do try to remain upright and objective.