Rob Errera Aggressively Interviews Rob Errera About His New Book, Fake News and Real Bullsh*t: Government, Media, and Justice In America

Rob Errera Aggressively Interviews Rob Errera About His New Book, Fake News and Real Bullsh*t: Government, Media, and Justice In America

This cover is divisive and inflammatory. What gives you the right to bully the President of The United States?
The First Amendment gives every citizen the right to free expression. Cover artist Dominic Wilde captured the spirit of this book perfectly. There’s a lot of anger, outrage, and injustice inside the book as well as on the cover. But it’s not a Trump-bashing book, other than noting The Donald stole the term “fake news” from me.

You’re accusing the President of theft? Can you prove the term “fake news” is your intellectual property?
I can prove I used it in a 2008 essay, but I don’t own any property, intellectual or otherwise.

What is this book about?
It’s a collection of essays examining how the news media has deteriorated over the last two decades.

What do you know about it?
I’ve been a journalist for nearly 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the news business since my days as a local newspaper reporter. Things have gone from bad to worse.

Is this leftist, lib-tard propaganda?
No. I dump equally on Republicans and Democrats in these essays. My main target is the news media tasked with keeping elected officials honest. The news media has become a propaganda machine rather than an unbiased source of information.

Why should I read this book?
If you’re under forty, this book will give you a sense of journalism’s history, how it has progressed and where it has regressed. Readers over forty will find a path through the confusing maze of Info Age insta-news…and maybe a bit of nostalgia.

Is this book funny? Serious? WTF is it?
Most of the essays are tongue-in-cheek, but a couple are somber—like my 9/11 and OJ Simpson essays.

Sounds heavy. I don’t like heavy thinking. It hurts my head. I want to keep it light, and breezy.
There’s fun in Fake News and Real Bullshit. Great info, too. In addition to explaining the breakdown of modern journalism, I also explain national healthcare, gasoline prices, Big Pharma scandals, cute cat memes, and why Nancy Grace sucks.

Nancy Grace doesn’t suck! She’s awesome! I love Nancy Grace!
Come on. Nobody loves Nancy Grace except for my wife. And Mr. Grace. Maybe.

You’re disrespectful and rude. Does your book have a surly, insolent tone?
I suppose. That’s my writing style. But you’ll find a few smiles and laughs there, too. Maybe even a few ideas worth remembering.

Why is the “i” in bullshit replaced with an “*” on the cover?
My publishers at Giantdog Books were afraid readers might be offended by the word “bullshit”.

That’s bullshit.
Fucking A.

Are you on drugs?
I don’t see how that’s your business.

Of course it’s my business. It’s everybody’s business. You’re trying to sell yourself as an “honest journalist.” You can’t have secrets!

Autism Dad 2—'Tween Edition: Continuing Adventures in Autism, Adolescence & Fatherhood
Autism Dad 2: Autism, Adolescence & Fatherhood

Yeah, sure. Okay. I take 10mg of Lexapro every day. It’s a life saver, and keeps me semi-normal. You can read all about my mental breakdown in Autism Dad 2, if you’re really interested.

Oh brother! Are you an attention-seeking exhibitionist?
I’m an author trying to promote a book, so…yeah.

I don’t have time to read. Is this available as an audiobook?
Not yet. The essays in Fake News and Real Bullshit only run about 500 words each, so its an easy book to pick up, put down, and skip around. I grouped the essays by theme, but you don’t have to start at the beginning—read whatever looks interesting first. It’s a great read for the beach…or the bathroom.

Yuck! You’re disgusting! Nobody reads fecal splattered books and magazines in the bathroom anymore! You look at your phone!
Ah. I stand corrected. Don’t you put your dirty phone up against your face to make a call?

Don’t get smart! You don’t know me! You don’t know who I be! Cash me outside!
Wait…when did you become a thug?

See! That’s what I’m talking about! You can’t judge me by the way I act and speak! That’s profiling!
I can judge you by how you act and what you say! That’s how you’re supposed to judge character. I’m not judging you by your appearance. That’s profiling.

You profile as a fat, middle-aged white guy.
No, you profile as a fat, middle-aged white guy!

No, you!
You!

Are you nuts?
Yes! I told you about the Lexapro!

I bet your book sucks because you suck.
The rise of social media has eliminated the buffer between artists and fans, making it impossible to separate an artist from his or her work. I may (and often do) suck on a number of personal and professional levels, but my book does not. Fake News and Real Bullshit can hold its own against anything published in the last year.

That’s a bold statement.
How do you know? What have you read in the last year?

I know a bold statement when I hear one, and that’s a bold statement.
Read the book and decide for yourself.

What’s your book called again?
You are the world’s worse interviewer.

No, you!
You!

Fake News and Real Bullsh*t: Government, Media, and Justice In America by Rob Errera releases July 4th 2018. Order your copy now!

While you’re at it, buy ALL of Rob Errera’s books! (And leave five-star reviews!)

Autism Dad 1

Autism Dad 2

Autism Dad 3

Santa’s Little Helper Wants To Eat Your Children

Fake News and Real Bullshit

8 Strange Stories

Hangman’s Jam

Songs In The Key Of Madness

Sensual Nightmares

The Mud Man

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Brian Williams saga shows false face of journalism

FEBRUARY 26, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2015, 12:31 AM
Media Fall Guy Brian Williams
Media Fall Guy Brian Williams

I learned journalism basics at college in the late 80s.

1) Ask the five “W” questions. Who, what, when, where, and why. Sometimes “how.”

2) Report the facts. Stories have many sides, and the people involved all have a personal agenda. Cut the fluff from the facts and deliver the closest version of “the truth” as possible.

3) Get quotes from involved parties. Quotes may or may not be factual. Quotes are simply one person’s side of the story.

4) Don’t put yourself in the story. A true journalist is invisible, a fly on the wall.

That last rule has become increasingly blurred over the last 30 years, and the latest to forget is “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.

I feel bad for Williams. For the last decade he delivered the news on NBC in admirable fashion. He read the words on the teleprompter and occasionally colored those words with appropriate emotional flavor. But when Brian Williams goes off-script, troubles begin.

Williams was recently suspended without pay for six months after it was revealed he lied about a war story during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Further digging showed Williams embellished stories on several occasions, including his coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Like a geeky high school kid, Brian Williams lied so he could look cool. But in a world where privacy is a farce and fact checking is easy, it’s hard to get away with monkey business or tall tales.

You can’t completely blame Williams for gilding the lily. Coolness was one of the traits imbued upon him by his handlers at NBC, along with sharp suits and white teeth. They encouraged Williams to yuk it up with late night hosts, from Jimmy Fallon to David Letterman.

What’s Brian Williams supposed to talk about on Letterman? He’s got to be as interesting as Anderson Cooper and Matt Lauer! The NBC brass seemed to support Williams’ appearances. Perhaps Williams was being groomed to take over a late-night job himself one day.

But that seems unlikely now. Williams is being called a raconteur, a spinner of yarns, a teller of tales. Being a raconteur is great if you’re putting on a one-man theatre show (or if you’re a newspaper columnist), but if you’re being paid to be a truth-teller, there’s a problem.

At the time of this writing, there’s talk Williams might be fired from NBC. The New York Post claims to have found an important “morals clause” in Williams contract which reads:

“If artist commits any act or becomes involved in any situation, or occurrence, which brings artist into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or which justifiably shocks, insults or offends a significant portion of the community, or if publicity is given to any such conduct, company shall have the right to terminate.”

But the language used points out exactly why Williams shouldn’t be fired. He’s an “artist,” not a reporter or a “journalist.”

The immediacy and intimacy of social media has changed the boundaries of modern journalism. The public-at-large, equipped with trusty smartphones, is an army of “imbedded reporters” (see the rise of CNN’s iReports and the ever-expanding blogosphere) and “real journalists” have become news-readers, color commentators, and “television personalities.”

Journalists — from Katie Couric to Perez Hilton — are a new kind of modern celebrity. (So are rich housewives and duck hunters. What happened to our standards? Didn’t celebrities used to have to be good at something exceptional or impressive?)

The problem really isn’t Brian Williams’ attention-seeking fables, but a media machine and news-consuming public that demands our anchors be dashing adventure–seekers, physically beautiful, intelligent, funny, opinionated, witty, relentless investigators, and good on camera. It’s a lot to ask. Brian Williams did his best to stay afloat in the brackish waters where journalism and entertainment meet, but was sunk by one-to-many big fish stories.

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