The Billboard Kerfuffle

“Callous Billboard survey asks: Who’s lying, Kesha or Dr. Luke?”

It’s the pursuit of clicks.

And I’d laugh if it wasn’t emblematic of our country at large.

Kind of like this Biden madness. The only person pointing out the fallacy in a Biden run is Nate Silver, who suddenly no longer has a platform of significance, so he’s being drowned out by the prognostications of those looking for clicks, doing so without any data input whatsoever. Forget Silver’s tweets, which are being sent into a no-man’s land from which they will never escape, but on his site,, they parse the data and show that no one entering the race this late has ever won the nomination:

Joe Biden Is Buying Time By Playing The Media

But don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

Kind of like Lucian Grainge losing his job. Remember that one? A completely insane idea that was cooked up by someone looking to retaliate against Universal Music. But, once again, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Kind of like facts in general. There’s an interesting article in today’s “New York Times” how facts don’t matter, how people are just digging their heels in deeper, flaunting internet searches to boost their position

“The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths”

It’s what we see everywhere, the disempowered use bogus science and the megaphone of the internet to spread a story that’s just not true. Can you say vaccinations? Then there’s everybody up in arms about GMOs. Label them all you want, but the truth is you’re consuming genetically modified items on a regular basis, it’s how companies compete with pests.

But they cannot stop you. From saying whatever you want. In your ignorance. That’s what “Hamilton” has so right, that you’ve got to be in the room to know what’s going on. But since that excludes nearly everybody, they go online anyway and spew their ignorance.

But the difference is the media is now on the bandwagon. The oldsters wondering how to make the transition to digital and the newbies trying to steal their thunder. And since we live in a world where money is everything, we’ve evolved into a lowest common denominator culture wherein you’ll say anything if it gets clicks.

Otherwise why have this “Billboard” survey.

Talk about a company caught flat-footed by the internet revolution. The outlet still can’t catch up, it still hasn’t figured out how to adequately measure today’s success. They’ve rolled up sales and streams into a concoction no one can understand, that is nearly meaningless, because they’re too afraid to piss off any vested interest.

But the truth is the moribund music industry has no cash to invest in advertising, so “Billboard” has gone mass market. But it doesn’t do this as well as Buzzfeed and the rest of the outlets who started on the internet. So we’ve got endless analysis which is equivalent to “this is what happened, I called the people involved, this is what they said” reported by nobodies who’ll write for someone else soon. Now, more than ever, we want trusted sources, and the writers for “Billboard” are not that.

It’s what we need in America at large. Leaders.

One could argue that Kanye West is one, or was one, before his campaign became about rich fashion houses keeping him down. Huh? Bernie Sanders knows you’ve got to make it about everyman, but Kanye keeps making it about himself. Is this the message we want to send, one of personal aggrievement and aggrandizement?

Which is what we’ve got. Everybody’s online establishing their brand, irrelevant if there’s any content behind it. Interested in himself, not anyone else. And the noise is deafening and the supposed paragons of excellence have punted.

The “Wall Street Journal” has become like its cousin Fox News. Remember when we used to get pissed about the bias of that outlet? Now everybody knows Fox News is Republican blather, not radically different from Rush Limbaugh’s spewings.

And “Billboard” has decided it’s not about facts, but eyeballs. And sure, audience is important, but you used to gain that with gravitas, credibility ruled.

But no one’s home at the outlet anyway. Did they even call a  lawyer before they started the shenanigans? Sure, the people they’re asking about are public figures, but falsehoods only reign unfettered when they’re not said with malicious aforethought. Who’s vetting the rumors spewed by respondents?

Or maybe you can consider it opinion.

But don’t we have too much of that already?

Let’s see what the courts have to say about Dr. Luke and Kesha.

The music business is self-correcting. Do a bad job and you lose your job.

As for “Billboard”…

Want a few hints?

Make a few stars. Have someone on your staff who we can believe in. Hell, even hire a few people who can run stats and interpret them.

Even better, redesign your site. It’s so poor it takes away from anything written.

And know that when the market is in turmoil, you succeed by going upscale, not downscale. You don’t get down into the pit, you rise above it.

But that’s impossible at “Billboard” today. Because there’s no one home. No one running the operation with any history and understanding of the music business. And the staff… Worthless wimps bloviating about what they don’t know uninterestingly.

So let this be a lesson. Fight back against the inanity. Refuse to let click-bait rule. Know that when this is all done, we’ll have a bunch of winners who extrude comprehension from chaos.

We’ll have a few hit records.

And a few rulers.

We want someone to believe in, who makes sense.

And right now, all we’ve got is Donald Trump. And that’s a start. He’s a beacon for the future. Standing up to Roger Ailes and Fox News. Not worrying about what the establishment thinks.

But Trump is a buffoon who can’t win.

But there are a bunch of winners out there. Let’s get behind them and weed out all the nonsense.

Like the kind you find in “Billboard.”

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