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A couple of thoughts…

February 19, 2010

I sometimes wonder how we got to where we are in the world, most importantly, mass media and pop-culture…  I don’t mean to sound like I am wringing my hands thinking the world has gone to hell, I am not, I am just endlessly frustrated by things like ‘the news’.  When did ‘the news’ stop being the news and start being entertainment?  Actually, I know the answer to that one, I guess what I really want to know is when did the news stop being good entertainment and start being lazy gossip and half hearted non-reporting?  That is what bothers me the most.  I know you are going to ‘sensationalize’ your stories and I know that before the break you are going to suggest that something I am eating could be killing me or something I am not eating could be killing me, I know you are going to claim that diet or exercise information is a proven fact, when in reality the study you are quoting from, that you never read, nor have any scientific consultants on staff to explain to you, really doesn’t say anything of the sort.  I know all that, but here are 5 startlingly frustrating things about the news that may upset you and make you laugh a little… after all it is from  (just a note that there is some light profanity in the writing).  By the way, #5 is the one I see most often in the nutrition, diet and health field.  It should make you very angry that nut jobs and sell outs are the experts that media relies on to give us our balanced point of view.

The other thought:

Basic Research appears to sue the people who sue them.  I have no idea as to the validity of their claims or whether they really are the down trodden underdog who is wrongfully being put under the governments microscope because big Pharma is scared that they have discovered the cures to obesity… okay, I was totally kidding there…  You all know my opinion.

In any case, the whole suing someone who sues you strategy is brilliant and has worked for big companies for years.  Nobody wants to be sued and if you have deep pockets you really are in a great position to sue yourself free.  Really, the whole best defense is a good offense is brilliant!  If you already have lawyers working for you and you are trying to limit future suits against you, just ask them to sue back.  Any reason works… are they limiting your access to a market by making you say true things on your package, or at the least stopping you from making wild eyed speculations??? Sue them.  Are they hurting your business because the whiff of a lawsuit is hurting sales?  Sue them.  Did their lawyer get quoted saying something that could potentially be defamatory if it was said about your product specifically and not just an example… what the hell, sue them too!!

The goal of course isn’t to win your suit, that is unlikely.  In fact the goal is to get a draw or at the least a settlement that can appear to be in both peoples best interest.  The, I will drop my suit if you drop yours is pretty persuasive, especially to an individual who sued to make some fast money and can’t really afford the lawyers.  It is another gargantuan battle of the lawyers, and I don’t see many winners here, except of course, the lawyers.  Still, it is a great strategy.

In any case, here is a pretty damn funny example of just that, a preview from Demitri Martin of his show airing on the Comedy Channel tonight at 10 ET in Canada, and I think the us version is right here.  If I have the wrong US link, please put the right one in the comments if you can.

So, what do you think, are media outlets required to use real experts?  How would they select them?  What is a fair and balanced story, and should someone have to pay if they sue someone back and have no real claim?

As well, should we be bothered that the only real news we get these days is from comedy sites….

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