Thursday, September 23, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021

Editor’s essay continued, issue 982

By Chuck Woodbury
CONTINUED FROM RVTRAVEL NEWSLETTER ISSUE 982

Like most of you, I am sad about the violence at our nation’s capitol on Wednesday. But, no, I am more than sad. I am disgusted. It’s now noon Friday. I have been so upset by what happened that I have been unable to write until now.

I spent virtually all day Wednesday watching and reading the news. And I know many of you did, too, as traffic at RVtravel.com was half of normal. It picked up a little on Thursday, but was still way down.

The terrible incident was the result of an ongoing campaign of misinformation, gladly promoted by news media and in social media because it attracted big audiences and lots of dollars.

Those of you who know how the media works today understand that the easiest way to make money is to be controversial. “Fair and Balanced” is a joke: few online media outlets, right or left, even try to be unbiased anymore because it’s far easier to make tons of money by lying, bending the truth or exaggerating.

I can tell you, with my above-average writing skills, if I were unethical I could triple my income by sensationalizing what we publish on this website. It would be so easy! I’d just rag on Marcus Lemonis over and over about his business practices – that always attracts big traffic!

When we go back through our traffic statistics, the topics where we stuck our necks out drew ten times the views (views = $$$) of tamer topics. Before the Internet, the slogan “If it bleeds it leads” was the mantra of many news outlets, especially local television. “Good News” stories were always shown at the end of the program.

We recently introduced a feature in our Sunday newsletter called “Good News.” And guess how popular it is? It’s not! Nobody wants to read good news. We post it anyway. If I wanted to make big money I wouldn’t mess with “good news.” I’d just make up an article with this headline: “Rat bites woman as she sits on her RV’s toilet.”

Actually, I will write such a fake story for you right now to show you how convincing a 100% fake story can be. You can read it here. The fake story I will write will be about how the woman left her RV’s black tank valve open and a sewer rat climbed up through the hose into the holding tank and then somehow got into the toilet bowl. The story will further state that the woman sat on the pot and then “ouch!” – the rat took a big old bite of her butt! You know me well enough to know I would never write such a story (except for my fake story here). But I am telling you, unethical, money-hungry publishers do it all the time.

Remember the story of the guy who put his Winnebago on cruise control so he could go into the back of the RV to make coffee, and the RV crashed, and then he sued Winnebago and won $1,750,000? That now-urban myth has been viewed millions of times over a decade – but it’s 100% fake!

Fox News will never say, “You know, we think Joe Biden is a decent guy and we should give him a chance.” It would lose half its audience and couldn’t continue to pay its hosts millions of dollars a year.

Rush Limbaugh is quoted as saying this: “Never be ‘down the middle’ on anything. Nothing is worse for the ratings than ‘well, on the other hand,’ or ‘both sides have a point.’ If you are against something, be against it 100%. Anyone who feels other than you do on the issue is wrong.”

Rush would be out of business if he had a change of heart and quit bashing Biden and his cronies. The same is true for other talk show hosts, websites, cable TV channels, and for social media stars. This goes for liberal and conservative media.

As a purveyor of fake news you take your stand, promote lies and conspiracy theories as often as possible, and watch your readership and income soar. After 20 years of publishing online, I know this principle well, and I know that unethical publishers can make huge incomes spewing lies and even hate. And just like with advertising, the more times a message is delivered, the more people believe it. Is Tide really the best detergent? Some people think so because commercial after commercial tells them so. And one day, someone who has heard the message 50 times believes it without question — “Yes, Tide is better!” The same goes for political messages.

I will receive angry mail over what I write here. I will be called every name in the book. Some will write, “I read this newsletter to read about RVing! This does not belong here!” Well, I agree that most of what we write here SHOULD be about RVing (and that is what we do 99% of the time). But sometimes I feel strongly about something and choose to write about it. Most readers are fine with this.

After reading this essay, dozens of readers will write me and say they unsubscribing. “I will never read another thing you write.” But I can tell you, most will return anyway out of curiosity.

But I’m not stupid when I write something that I know will stir the pot and cost this website subscribers. When I write honestly and without fear of losing a hundred or even a thousand readers, open-minded readers appreciate this website even more. We almost always end up gaining more subscribers than we lose. Some of those who appreciate our honesty will be motivated to contribute financially to our efforts because we dare to take a stand, unlike 99% of all other RV websites which are so scared of offending an advertiser that they keep their mouths shut!

For the record, only a small part of our income comes from advertising. Every week, more readers support us financially, which provides our financial foundation. So I don’t tell our writers to avoid writing something that might offend a particular manufacturer or other RV-related business. “No, write honestly,” I say.

I hope the following happens in 2021: I hope the pandemic ends and our lives can return to normal. I hope all those people who lost their jobs due to no fault of their own will get them back. And I hope that our elected officials tone down their rhetoric. As a proud member of the news media for 40 years, I am thankful that our incoming president views the media of vital importance to a democracy and not as its enemy. Take a Journalism 1A course at your local community college and you will understand.

chucksignature

Your comments welcome. But keep them civil. I reserve the right to remove rants or those that are disrespectful.

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Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
3 months ago

There has been a total dearth of civility and consideration in the general public, and a tendency to believe whatever is put in front of them. I was on debate squad in high school and learnt the importance of critical thinking and backgrounding sources of material. Most every political author(not all) would have flunked out of debate squad. ThePresidential campaign debates between Nixon and Kennedy illustrate respect and consideration. “As the Vice President made this valid point, but there is a concern here…The Senator mentioned this concern, but these are the reasons I believe it’s only a minor concern”..The disrespect for others is almost total. I made a comment on an article asking aboutwhether campfires should be banned. Many were “Don’t care if there’s a ban I’m going to build a huge campfire anyway”. I presented my bonafides as a former ultralight backpacker/canoe camper, my declining health preventing camping for years and my joy on realizing I could camp in an RV. Since I

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
3 months ago

was having cardiopulmonary problems I couldn’t tolerate smoke, and I thought it would probably not too onerous to designate a few campsites as no-campfire, similar to the motel industry designating some rooms as no smoking. Responses? I was called names, threatened, and told to park my camper in my backyard and camp there if I wanted to interfere with these peoples rights to build campfires, the bigger the better. This was so different from the attitudes of people I met camping it was hard to believe some of them might be people I had already met in a campground..

Mark Mccabe
3 months ago

The Jan 6th armed insurrection in which nobody was held or arrested for being armed, and for which the only person shot and killed was an unarmed woman that the Capitol Police shot was far less violent that the mob actions of burning, looting, and yes killings that went on in many of our cities which most leftists refer to as mostly peaceful protests.
Was it stupid and disgusting? Why yes it was. Should anybody convicted of property destruction or theft be prosecuted. Why yes they should. Should hundreds of folks locked up in solitary confinement in DC prisons since Jan 6 remain locked up for a singular charge of Trespassing? Hell no, especially while DA’s all across the country are dropping all charges against the looters and rioters in the big cities.
Call it what it was, a mostly peaceful protest that some turned bad (without the burning or killing). Demand the Police release the results of the murdered woman’s investigation. Demand to be able to see the videos he police collected.

Arthur Jacobson
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Mccabe

Sir,
What happened as a result of the brutal murder on camera of a helpless, unarmed BLACK man was stupefying. How can any decent human being not be appalled by what happened? If you are a Caucasian person I doubt you can relate to what black people and all other human beings with a conscience feel about Mr. Floyd and the countless others of innocent, unarmed humans slaughtered by law enforcement feel? There is no excuse for willful destruction of another person’s property but I do understand the frustration felt by many of those destroyers.
What part of sedition do you not understand? What part of participating in a lynch mob do you not understand? What part of attacking and murdering law enforcement do you not understand? I guess Fox must have been showing an alternative view of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. From my perspective every participant in that murderous rabble deserves to be put into Super Max solitary confinement for 50 years without parole.

Dale
3 months ago

Since you know something about RVing Chuck, please stick to that subject and stay out of politics. We get more than enough Rush Limbaugh bashing and Fox News bashing from the left-wing CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and NPR. I am sorry you were upset by the Peaceful Protest on January 6. I cannot help but wonder if you would have been upset had you heard of the number of our cities that were burned last summer.

Rolling Coal
3 months ago
Reply to  Dale

If you thought January 6th was a peaceful protest, you need to change your meds and remove your tinfoil hat! Otherwise sport, I’ve got a bridge for sale you might be interested in buying.

Philip Sponable
3 months ago

If it has a byline it is opinion… if it doesn’t it is news… news and opinion are two distinct different entities… they have bred and now we have today.

David
3 months ago

If I see that your editorial is going to be about politics I choose not to read it. I make this choice because you do exactly what you accused others of doing and write with a definite political bias. I do enjoy the rest of the newsletter.

John
3 months ago

Great article. Truth is hard to find in the news today. Hurray for you !!!

Kim
3 months ago

So Jerry Maguire 😀 it’s refreshing and I agree 100% many of the negative comments simply prove exactly what you are saying. Thank you for your article and staying true to your own real thoughts – not enough of that because it doesn’t make money. Money is only only a tool and not an “end game “ life is more than money – as we get older we realize that more and more.

Arthur Jacobson
3 months ago

This country would be a FAR BETTER place if we had more Chuck Woodburys reporting on facts. The media is so split between left and right these days. It is difficult to watch either side. There is false reporting and misrepresentations enough to go all around.I do know one thing: hateful, biased reporting is destroying our beloved democracy. What we saw on January 6, 2021 in Washington was an attempt to overthrow a legitimate election and our government. What did you not understand about a bunch of bloodthirsty rabble chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.? What has happened to us? What has happened to YOU?
Chuck Woodbury is a fearless journalist trying to get this point across to we, his loyal readers, that this has to stop, NOW.

Paul
3 months ago

Just a FYI for you, Chuck. Rush Limbaugh HAS stopped reporting negatively on the left. He is dead. Has been for months. Shows how informed and up to date you are.

Wayne Caldwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul

The lead-in comments state Chuck’s essay was written in January, well before Limbaugh’s death.

Mark Generales
3 months ago

Interesting comment. Telling the only examples you use are Fox and Limbaugh? We know you are from Seattle – but please –

When unbiased news analysis organizations tabulate support for Democrats in the daily broadcast and print media at over 90% – it gives pause to your comments.

Gasoline is up 58%. Keystone is closed. Colonial was hacked, Biden forgives Russian oligarchs and the former head of German intelligence and removes sanctions on the Russia – Germany gas pipeline. A pipeline the entire EU is against – a pipeline that American natural gas would have replaced.

Then we read about EV and diesel pushers being endangered? What total factual nonsense. That IS a case of bias here.

Where’s the article in the Main Stream Media about the massive pollution, slavery and forced child labor (UN estimate 40,000) digging in mines and dying of pollution and malnutrition to get US Greenies their EV? 1,000 years of clean natural gas under our feet with energy independence to boot.

Bias? Yup.

RWB
3 months ago

I like the good news. Please continue. But you state that you are unbiased, that isn’t quite true. You are and have been biased against FMCA and always give an edge to Escapees. The ‘facts’ you list about FMCA in RVing clubs are not up to date.

Chros Crosswhite
3 months ago

I wholly agree with your last paragraph (but then, I usually agree with what you write.)

For some reason, it used to be hard to find the “Good News” section of the Sunday newsletter. I always read it and enjoyed it. I know that the exciting stuff is rarely good news, so kudos to RVTravel for putting in the effort!

Dan
3 months ago

Please dont stop the Sunday Good News. All of the journalism world could stand to produce more good news. I’m old enough to remember when the news was just the news and not just convoluted editorials, politicizing every single aspect of our lives. It would be great to bring back Walter Cronkite so people could actually get the news and trust it.

John Skinner
7 months ago

So . . . I got behind on the reading, but enjoyed your editorial on the riot. One thing that keeps coming up though is that “half the nation” this and “half the nation” that has done something. 80 million voted for Biden, but that’s 24% of the U.S. population of 325 million. Trump got 23%. Not everyone in the nation votes, but almost everyone has an opinion. Our biggest problem is that too many folks lack common sense and logic. Along with that they don’t take the time to research anything. Easier to believe the {bleeped} tube. Did appreciate your words on the situation. Now everyone needs to treat others respectfully and learn “I can agree to disagree”. Thanks Chuck.

LdN
8 months ago

I don’t disagree with your premise, however I found it interesting that while you started off with “whether left of right” (sorry I paraphrase)….you then went on to use two conservative portals (Fox and Rush Limbaugh) as examples. Possibly you have never listed to the news on NPR. Possibly the reason you used those two examples is that the selections you could have made from the Left are too numerous to mention? In any event, this American has never listened (or watched) your two examples from the Right, and you do have to “look” for them. It is hard, however, to miss CNN and the other alphabet news sources which infect every public airport lounge, hospital waiting room, etc. Both parties disgust me and I will not live long enough to see a viable third party. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him? If you do not see the hatred coming from the left, you are not paying attention. I do enjoy your newsletter but frankly I am not much into politics.

Brenda Bilton
7 months ago
Reply to  LdN

Well said.

Jeffrey Davis
3 months ago
Reply to  LdN

I agree with what Ldn said. if this is an unbiased article, why only mention one side? Is the Left completely right and the Right completely wrong? By implying there is no agenda, translates to having an agenda. Sorry, that is my take. That said, not a chance I will unscribe. I actually look forward to the Sunday “News”

Glenda Alexander
3 months ago
Reply to  LdN

I listen to National Public Radio (NPR) every morning. I wish more people would listen to NPR so they’d have a more well-rounded viewpoint.

Mark Generales
3 months ago

I listen because I want balance and I know NPR is hard left – so follow up with Newsmax to balance. There is NOTHING balanced about NPR. Spend 5 minutes watching their correspondent at a Psaki news conference and even an ardent follower has to admit their bias.
NPR should not be supported by taxpayer dollars. Decades of hundreds of millions of dollars going into the pockets of producers of shows like Big Byrd instead of NPR prove a corrupt structure.
Meanwhile, those that only listen to NPR get a very slanted view of the world. Suggest they open their mind to more than the hard left. Better to be uncomfortable than buy into one version of the truth.

Kevin Cullina
8 months ago

I look forward to reading RVtravel everyday especially now. Keep up the good work

Deb
8 months ago

Thanks, Chuck. I appreciate this newsletter and will continue to subscribe.

Gregg
8 months ago

Thank you for sharing this Chuck!
I do disagree with you on one point though, this does affect RVing. This level of hate, anger, and distrust makes for poor neighbors – whether at home or at camp. We all need to show some respect for ourselves and each other, helping one another, having empathy for each other, being able to disagree without being disagreeable. In short, to be true Americans.

J anne
8 months ago

I appreciate you can express any view you want and i do not disagree with what i read of your editorial but i don’t come here for current event opinions like the travesty at the Capital. It
was tough enough to see and deal with the events and then i want to escape here e.g. reading great articles related to RVing .

F Sanchez
8 months ago

I have been reading your newsletter for a couple of years and always find it very educational. I agree totally with your perspective in the essay. I made a donation yesterday. Thanks for keeping us informed.

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