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December 3, 2003

BAGnews Money Shot: Best Media Porn of November 2003

In a wonderfully scathing article in this Sunday’s New York Times Arts Section ("America Tunes In For The Money Shot"), Frank Rich launches a hard core attack on the media’s pornographic tendencies. In the name of criminal justice, protecting children or just getting to know celebrities, Mr. Rich accuses main stream media (and, I would add, those sanctimonious right wing and religious broadcasters) of feasting on the most salacious and titillating content they can justify.

You can read Mr. Rich’s article to learn what the porn industry defines as a “money shot.” In the mainstream media, however, he describes it as the continual quest to broadcast the most graphic image or piece of information possible.

Nothing works up Mr. Rich’s passion more than the current Michael Jackson situation. Protesting any notion the story is about criminal justice or the lure of fame, he describes how the public is “…slobbering over every last speculative pornographic detail…while purporting to be outraged by the crime of child abuse…” Besides the obvious grab for rating, Mr. Rich admonishes the Larry King’s and the Oprah’s of the world for “taking to the public stage to intone gravely about pedophilia” while “often trading in titillation themselves.”

In honor of Mr. Rich, we are dedicating the rest of this week to a countdown of the Best Media Porn of November 2003. (Certainly, it couldn’t hurt our rating any.)

Here’s Our 5th Favorite:

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