Trust Me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday – [PDF Downlod]

What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.

I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs–as much as anyone person can. In today’s culture…

1) Blogs like “Gawker,” “Buzzfeed” and the “Huffington Post” drive the media agenda.

2) Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.

3) Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch–online and off.

Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m pulling back the curtain because I don’t want anyone else to get blindsided.

I’m going to explain exactly how the media “really” works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Trust Me I Am Lying – PDF

He feels guilty, and this is his public shower, his cleansing by confession. You, too, can learn what he did to manipulate the media and public opinion.

It makes me feel a little uneasy. On one hand, I’m one of the people who might have used or been manipulated by, Ryan Holiday’s techniques. For years I have blogged, on politics and on public affairs, and on books.

Later, I worked for–indeed still I still work for–a public official that might benefit from understanding how to manipulate the media. In reality, though, we play defense against people who use these tools, wittingly or not.

Every day we get media requests and inquiries, and I would say that 99 percent of the people who reach out to us in the media do so with good intentions and simply to add to their story.

And yet, the 1 percent (or maybe it’s a smaller percent) ends up being the ones that cause the most work. As the saying goes, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth even gets its boots on.

This has never been truer than the age of the Internet. This is the central argument, or observation, or maybe henchman, of Holiday’s book.

With the combination of the Internet and the advent of the blog reporter, as well as the shortening attention span of readers–that’s you and I, my friends–the dissemination of news has become cheap.

With cheapness, the incentive to create in-depth pieces evaporates, and readers are drawn to that which angers, or amuses, not to the educational, let alone that which is complex or requires complexity.

Ever heard of clickbait? Or fake news? Or read something salacious? That later proved to be semi-accurate? Or out of context?

This is where it comes from. Media manipulators like Holiday would lie, cheat, leak, allude, self-report, publicize, create controversy, and trick bloggers and reporters to print or publish something that benefits their clients.

So, that’s nothing new, right? There have always been publicists, communications directors, public information officers, or spin doctors to put their own angle on the news. True.

But what’s different here is the extent to which the modern press has changed because of the dynamics of the Internet. Editors and publishers have long known that readers were more interested in the salacious, and lying or printing inaccurate or false news is nothing new.

The “yellow press” was is the great-granddaddy of the fake news. But for a brief period of a generation or so, the press has professionalized, created a set of rules and attempted to objectively present and report on the news. But no more.

The Internet proliferated with bloggers, resource-poor writers, usually without editors, and always incentivized to publish material that will maximize views, no matter the truth or value of the content.

To make it worse, reporters, working under barely improved conditions over the bloggers, watch the bloggers for leads and scoops, cribbing what they find, utilizing the “link economy” to hide shoddy research and boost their own numbers.

It’s a recipe for disaster, according to Holiday, and the book is replete with examples and anecdotes, both from his own career (remember, this is his mea culpa) and from the public record. It makes for fast and fascinating reading.

It’s also a bit depressing. I’ve often rolled my eyes at accusations of “fake news,” especially when tweeted out over President Trump’s Twitter against the New York Times, CNN, or some other major news agency.

And yet, as I’ve looked closer, as I’ve read more, I’ve become more of a skeptic. Then I see shared over social media an “article”: the headline reads “President Trump to Resign in 2019,…” with half the headline cut off due to space requirements.

I click through and find out that it is actually a reporter that has thrown together a 200-word article that quotes an op-ed by a critic of the president. There’s nothing added. No news. Just a misleading, clickbait headline. As I said to the poster, we are all dumber for the article.

Of course, it’s great fodder for the critics of the president. But it does nothing more than feed the echo chamber with empty calories.

Let’s end this on an up note. Ryan Holiday has a talent for writing. He’s clear, he tells a great story, and he’s lived behind the scenes, which is what every American wants to hear about.

Is it really as bad as he says? Probably not. But to feed off of what he says, it’s in his interest to make things sound worse than they are. No one wants to read a book that says the media is honest, that bloggers and reporters do good research, and that Americans are only interested in reading high-minded literature.

On the contrary, all that matters is quantity, reporters and bloggers are vain, and Americans want to read the salacious and snarky, what angers or amuses. It is a cynical look, but, I’ll be honest, it’s not hard to believe.

And, like taking Statistics 101 in college to understand how stats are used (in business, in media, etc), everyone should read it so they understand what’s going on behind the news that they are reading.

Yes, I believe more reporters are good, well-meaning people. But this is the system we live in, and it is what it is. You might as well educate yourself and become aware.

Or maybe we should just stop reading the news altogether. I’m not sure that we’re all that better for the non-stop news cycle, anyway.

Download The PDF

Author Ryan Holiday
Book Title Trust Me I Am Lying
Language English
Pages 259
Size 2.05 MB

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