The US Bureau of Useless News reported record-breaking media activity during the first quarter of 2007. According to bureau statistics, Americans were barraged by worthless information at an unprecedented level from a variety of sources.
“This goes far beyond weather reports for parts of the world no one ever heard of,” says Blather Constantly, spokesperson for the bureau. “We’re talking serious superfluity here.”
Once a relatively sleepy industry relegated to a few local gossips, useless news has been given new life by the Internet. Now everybody can tell anybody everything about nothing. And none of it has to be true.
The effects of so much irrelevant information isn’t yet clear. But experts say an upswing of bewilderment and confusion matches almost exactly the proliferation of useless news.
Stop the Presses!, a nonprofit group dedicated to the eradication of extraneous information, wants Americans to tune out the drivel and get back to focusing on serious issues. But lawyers at Diversionary Tactics, Inc., a Washington lobbyist firm, stridently oppose any restrictions on useless news.
“The First Amendment guarantees the right of cheap talk,” says one attorney. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says anyone has to know what’s really going on.”