The Walkerville Weekly Reader

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Walkerville, VA
Monday, May 20, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Ventura calls news media ‘corrupt and shameless’

Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura “surprised” to discover that the news media creates controversy.

Minnesota governor and former Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura added a chapter to his autobiography recently, to cover his first year in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. In it, he called the news media “corrupt, shameless and irresponsible as hell,” and he accused the media of “only airing controversial opinions”, and “searching for controversy where none exists.”

“Jesse the Mind?” asked one reporter. “Let’s call him ‘Jesse the Blind’. How long did it take him to figure this one out? Another word for ‘controversial’ is ‘newsworthy’.” The reporter, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of getting a good thrashing from the former World Wrestling champion, said it should come as no surprise that a news reporter might interview ten people and throw away nine of the interviews. “Let’s face it, nine out of ten people are too boring to put on the news,” said the reporter. He said it was neither corrupt nor irresponsible to exaggerate controversy. “On the contrary, it is the utmost in responsibility. Newspapers and news reporters have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, and whatever we can do to sell newspapers, that’s responsibility.”

The reporter said that as far as “shameless” goes, he considers it a compliment. “Part of our responsibility to the public is to go where others are ashamed to go,” he said. “I will leave no bedsheet unturned in the search for newsworthy stories.”

News executive Benny “the Wallet” Williams said that what Governor Ventura was complaining about “is called ‘balance’. If Jesse Ventura states that the world is round, what are we supposed to do, run a headline story with nine people agreeing with him? We’re going to find the one person who believes the world is flat, and run with it.”

When asked if he believed the world was flat, “the Wallet” responded, “I don’t care. It’s irrelevant. All I care about is newsworthy stories. Saying that nine out of ten experts agree with the governor isn’t newsworthy. Airing the one expert who disagrees--that’s news.”

But what about the charge that focusing on ‘experts’ who in their field might be considered crackpots lends legitimacy to irresponsible views? The Wallet replied that “some may call them crackpots. We call them visionaries, pioneers who aren’t above twisting or manufacturing data to create real news.” If it weren’t for visionaries “like Kellerman and Heath”, explained “the Wallet”, newspapers would be “forced to cover nothing but tea parties and funerals of old people.”

And if, as Ventura charged, this leads the public to believe those “visionaries” who say that firearms ownership causes violence, or marijuana use is harmful, isn’t that irresponsible reporting? “What people believe is their own business,” said The Wallet. “Although I must say that if people want to believe that marijuana use is dangerous, or that gun control works, that’s good for us. It creates news: funerals of old people might be boring, but funerals of young people are very newsworthy.”

The Wallet went on to say that “what’s good for the news media is good for America. It makes life more interesting,” and that this meant that gun control and prohibition were good for America. “Newspapers reached their heyday during the twenties,” he said. “We’re only trying to recapture some of that glory today.” He stated that if he could bring back alcohol prohibition, he would, but until then, he would have to rely on other prohibitions.

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