Idiots of the internet

You’d think that with a wealth of information at our fingertips, we’d be smarter and well informed.

No, internet surfers seem to get dumber by the day.

My radio show traces the history of rock and roll, from its origins in the ’30s and ’40s to the present day and often times the only sources I have for biographical information…artist, song and record label histories…are websites and Wikipedia. The latter has been knocked for innaccuracies but for the most part, it’s served me and The Rock and Roll Riot well.

Thanks to the creators of, and contributors to websites that wouldn’t know real journalism if it bit them in their collective asses, thousands of people accept gossip as fact and give credibility to crackpots. Hey there, Jenny McCarthy. 

And hey, who wouldn’t believe a Playboy Playmate and “actress” over trained, highly-educated medical professionals? Why solicit the advice of someome who spent eight years in University when you can sit at home and get the truth from Doctor Oz? Good God!

Yes, he is a doctor but some of his advice hasn’t been medically sound, according to medical experts.

 Jimmy Kimmel nailed it recently in a brilliant takedown of the nutjob parents who won’t let their kids be vaccinated. He said they were more afraid of gluten than the measles.

I’m a journalism graduate (who fell into radio by accident). I was schooled to believe that anything printed in a newspaper or magazine had to be meticulously researched. Facts had to be checked. Sources had to be corroborated.

Not online.

These days, a pseudo news site posts a story and Facebook feeds are filled with fury (holy alliteration, Batman!) and the tweeting twits spring into action. Climate change is a hoax…umm, so we’ll ignore the 97% of leading scientists who say it’s real. Maybe we can find a blogger who claims the earth is flat. C’mon Huffington Post, you know he’s out there.

And, of course, we can’t believe the old media outlets because we’re told they’re all biased. That liberal rag known as The Toronto Star was out to get Rob Ford. Nothing but a witch hunt and surely they made up all those stories of drug and alcohol abuse. They had an agenda….those damn lefties.

And…

They were right. The adorable and talented Robyn Doolittle did something those so-called internet journalists couldn’t be bothered to do. She interviewed people. In person. She found other sources to back up the allegations and stories. She spent hours and hours researching and reading boring reports to discover…

the truth.

It’s sad that faux journalism sites are regarded as being in the same league as the New York Times, Maclean’s, The Globe & Mail or The Guardian (from my hometown of Manchester, England). It’s like comparing Milli Vanilli to the Beatles.

Then again, much of today’s so-called news is fueled by outrage. Who has time for facts? Push the buttons, spread the misinformation because the average Facebook poster doesn’t know the difference between half-baked theories and genuine news stories. It’s on a website. Must be true.

Sure, they could actually read about issues and form their own opinons but that would take a bit of effort and who has time for that when you can waste the day arguing about the colours of a dress?

About johnnymaraca

host of Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot, the rockingest show on the radio. 60 years of rockin' rhythm and blues, from the late '40s pioneers like Louis Jordan to Elvis, Chuck Berry, CCR, Stray Cats, Ramones and tons more. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 on 97.7 the Beach, listen live at http://977thebeach.ca, and WRSG in Middlebourne, West Virginia, Tuesdays 6-8 pm.
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