Money Is the Root of Fake News – A Perspective from Steve James Even marketers understand brand money is what drives false news in media.

At least not everybody is blind and pushing for profits. This gentleman, Steve James, certainly has his eye on the motivation – profit. Every media organization needs to make a profit, so they all peddle their own version of fake news.

But its freelancers and independent publishers like us that suffer in the battle for everyone’s attention. Personally, I’d be more apt to listen to Snoop Dogg’s opinion than most news anchors, as evidenced by me getting my news from Flipboard, The Daily Show, Phil DeFranco, and word of mouth. Nobody has time to keep up with everything going on, and nobody in media nor marketing will ever speak the truth so long a they have sponsors to please.

Thankfully, nobody’s sponsoring me, so I have nobody to tell me to shut up.

Pitch Title: HARO Reply – Who peddles news?

Pitch Contents:


I read you post, and you certainly pick some fights! However given what you have gone through  in the last decade, your tilting at windmills is understandable.
Here’s a question: What is News? I’m an old fart from a different country, but my background provides an answer: The nightly State Broadcaster TV News broadcast. Everything else is untrustworthy – especially in the States.
Why? Because everything in the USA is based on a profit motive that ‘trumps’ everything else – including ethics. Reading any newspaper, magazine, watching any TV or – over the last 20 years – online means the reader has to ask: “What does the write get from this?” This includes Bloggers, journos, P.R. companies, and corporate positions like the Senior Director of Business Development at Tribune Publishing (See? I read your post.). I’m a blogger. I use a blog to promote my services (see below), and to gain employers. I’m just as guilty as everyone else.
So, what is ‘fake news’ ? Is it all published just to get clicks? Yes. Because clicks equal money. Why is this? Because getting to people to promote something is the best way to support the profit motive; it means more people, more prospects, more potential business, and more profit.
So, why are there readers? Because many people believe that not only is their own life not ‘good enough’ when compared to others, they can ‘buy’ a better life. Anyone that writes anything must know more than they do. Instead of looking within to make their life better (maximizing their own potential, the way that you and I have done.), they can simply purchase it from someone else.
I am a firm believer that Cambridge Analytica were simply doing something that corporations have been doing for year – the fact that it had such a impact on U.S. voters was only due to those voter’s fear and gullibility.
Does this mean I don’t trust anything I read online? No – I research what I am reading and who is writing it to make that decision, and there are a few outlets that I do trust – but they have had to earn it. I didn’t automatically believe all of the details in your post, but I believe the position you are in, your background, and what is being said about you is actually being said, so I have no basis in fact to call you a liar. Anyway, you got your click and read time, so you have made your point and got what you were asking for – it was a fair trade for my time. It doesn’t mean I will automatically believe anything you say in the future and I have – therefore – no reason to follow you and ask for more.
The publication of information means that anyone can do it for a profit motive: Believe anything that the publisher can prove is true or that can be proven. Should we trust Journos more? Yes. Unfortunately, what part of the last 20 years news gathering has made them trustworthy?
Now, can I get a click and some read time, please?

Steve James – Marketing for SME Businesses


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: