The people of Washington DC wanted Al Gore to be president. Why did the only newspaper in town (apart from one owned by a religious cult) lie about him shamelessly, saying he claimed to invent the Internet, when he never did?
The people of New York did not want to invade Iraq. Why did the New York Times publish story after story filled with lies fed to Judy Miller by Ahmed Chalibi?
Molly Roberts explains the answer to these questions in a post today, She is an editor, writer and producer for The Washington Post's Opinions section and her topic is Elon Musk. He’s upset that the media is no longer treating him like a messiah, now that his cars and factories are maiming people, and the quality control on the Tesla Model 3 is crap. Below is a quote from Musk and Roberts’s reaction:
“Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars or get fired,” Musk declared Wednesday afternoon. “Tricky situation, as Tesla doesn’t advertise, but fossil fuel companies & gas/diesel car companies are among world’s biggest advertisers.”
That, obviously, is not the problem at all. Journalists don’t sit down and calculate which stories are likely to draw certain advertisers to their site — the idea is anathema to their mission of objectivity.
You skipped right over the most important part: "max clicks"!!! It's "anathema" to think about what your subscribers would like to click on? And your reporters can want some advertisers, surely? They work at a for-profit advertising platform, how are they supposed to do their job without advertising dollars?
In the old days they didn't call it "max clicks." They called the hunt for eyeballs "circulation wars." Pulitzer and Hearst fought like crazy for max clicks. And you know what happened?
The Progressive Era happened.
The New Deal happened.
Bring back max clicks, please!