by Christian Duque
Propaganda. We often see it, but rarely acknowledge it. Good propaganda is discreet. Really good propaganda hits the subconscious; it’s there, but you can’t see it. Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, then it does. The New York Times is said to be a liberal publication, but that’s not entirely true. I’m a liberal and I hate it. I won’t read it. I’m more than liberal, actually, I was a delegate for Bernie Sanders and I saw how that newspaper treated his candidacy, our movement, and how it reported on this past election and world news as a whole.
I know their biases and even their open positions. When I hear of news elsewhere, I can pretty much predict what kind of story I’ll see on the matter from them. They’re liberal, when their liberal masters are Hillary Clinton, the rich and powerful, and the political players they favor. That’s not exactly liberal, progressive, or left-wing. They are basically an old newspaper (one of the oldest), with seemingly endless resources, all about their agenda. Their motto is “all the news fit to print,” but that’s a load of shit. And while that’s just my opinion, this is my article, so I’m going to say what’s on my mind. Speaking of which, I’d like to bring up what inspired this article. A video put out on the NYT website, titled, ‘The Dark Side of the Male Fitness Internet.’ As with anything dealing with the mainstream media (hereinafter “MSM”), we know where they stand when it comes bodybuilding. They’re beyond predictable. In this article, I will simply highlight the biases of the the MSM, I will speak to how little regard the MSM has for their readers, and what this type of media means for our industry.
Being trolled by the MSM is nothing new. The host of this pitiful propaganda short was clearly reading off a script and later credited another bozo who did all the video editing. This was just another job, done by budding journalists eager to become reporters. This isn’t news and this isn’t newsworthy. It’s a cut and paste job of photos, clips, and movie scenes. They even took snaps of the Misc on Bodybuilding.com Forums. The MISC does not represent us as a culture – everyone knows that’s just a place to goof off. In fact, mostly every message board has a place where members can go and post anything off topic they want. It’s just a place to chill. We’re all – in our sport and industry – familiar with this. The mainstream is clueless and it’s that naivety that rags like the NYT are banking on. If it sounds like I’m upset, I am, because this kind of nonsense is not news fit to print – it’s garbage. And before you go accusing me of roid rage, just know I’m a fat dude, almost 40, and no – I’m not on Keto!! I’m just a little sick of the nonsense.
I love bodybuilding, I’m educated, I don’t slam weights and I wipe down equipment after using it – not because of a lunk alarm or because it’s posted on a hundred different posters. I do it because I’m conscientious. The mainstream finds it amusing to bully bodybuilding and bodybuilders. Bullying is wrong. There’s programs left, right, and center focused on fighting against it. But what’s the New York Times doing with a video aimed squarely at fitness-minded people? Are they not bullying? No, because fitness-minded people, bodybuilders, people who want to take control of their lives – they don’t count. It’s about selling papers, online subscriptions, and advertising. Fuck doing the right thing, they gotta do the profitable thing.
Ironically, our sport has been vilified for years by the same people who complain about heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. They wonder what could be done to reduce onset adult diabetes, but they’re also the same people who paint the picture of physique-based athletes as mindless ogres carrying around. The fact that they associate muscle with masculinity, shows they are truly the sexist ones. The fact an allegedly left-wing newspaper associates bodybuilding with right-wing politics (that which they hate), makes it abundantly clear that they think bodybuilding is somehow wrong or evil. News reporting used to be an honorable profession, but today, it’s become just another tool in the powerful’s arsenal. Those of us in the fitness industry see a video like this and just shake our heads; we find it ridiculous, but this crap video, like the many crap articles, crap documentaries, and crap studies – they weren’t made for us. I don’t read the NYT and probably, neither do you, but politicians read it. Big Pharma reads it – hell – Big Pharma probably advertises and/or owns it. It’s the same with the Democratic Primaries and all these old ass newspapers and giant tv stations – they ALL backed Hillary – hands down – over Bernie Sanders. Look at who backed Hillary and look at who backed Bernie. Also look at the Republican party, who did Fox back? Who did most GOP-friendly media giants back? They didn’t back Trump, because Trump didn’t belong to anyone. It’s all about power, selling papers, and hits.
Everything this video purported to do, it did exactly the opposite. They intended to make fitness look sexist, but they looked sexist by suggesting muscle belongs to a specific gender. They intended to make the Zyss Generation look foolish for trying to attain a fit physique – they failed. These people aren’t after a Markus Ruhl look, they want abs, some muscle, and they want to be able to do chin-ups, run a mile in a good amount of time, and not eat junk food – not drink, not smoke – all good things. They tried to rally the LGBT population and in so doing probably will offend a great number of people from that community. They also tried to accuse men who built muscle of being insecure, socially awkward, and easily fooled. Little do they know that there’s engineers, doctors, lawyers and even people working in the Space program who bodybuild, compete, and live the life. They tried to say bodybuilding dehumanized people, that it made life into nothing more than a sea of statistics, but they failed miserably at that also, because statistics is the math favored by the MSM – it’s the only type of math where an equation can have multiple answers and still be correct. The MSM, and its pundits, live for polls, many of which rely on the very quack mathematics they so pitifully, and unsuccessfully, tried to pin on us.
Worst of all, pieces like these are insulting to their own readers and viewers. This kind of video has no production value, it wreaks of brainwashing at its worst. What is it, amateur hour over there? I’ve seen better brainwashing videos from my junior high’s tv production crew. This video was intentionally done to look DIY, but they tried too hard; they dug too deep into pop culture and looked totally scripted. Also, the narrator’s painfully monotone voice didn’t help either. I get the host and video person need a job, but hopefully they found these “journalists” on Craigslist. I can’t imagine anyone who has a college degree in communications, from a college whose main campus isn’t a P.O. Box, would have graduated anyone who thinks this type of content will do anything but waste people’s time. It certainly will not help shape any sensible person’s opinion.
I’m happy to write this article and point out the many flaws in this ridiculous video, but at the same time, I hope that at some point, the MSM will stop its witch hunt of bodybuilding. I also hope for the day when politicians will stop looking to the MSM to educate them on sports and sports supplements, because quite frankly, it’s the blind leading the blind. On the good side though, the mainstream public is starting to come around. Slowly but surely, people are seeing how physique-based sports and weight-training can positively influence their lives. When Fortune 500 companies change their tune and when Big Pharma sees money in us, then rags like the NYT and fake news emporiums like CNN, MSNBC, and FOX (all pumping out news based on their biases over what We The People actually want to know), will change as well. Until that day comes, making fun of bodybuilding will be an easy way for the MSM to put out crap content to an oblivious, easily entertained audience.
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