Forbes released its completely obnoxious “Wealthiest” list today. I would love to tell you that there is something interesting in it (A MEXICAN IS WEALTHY) but there isn’t.
Media outlets run on these annual cycles. We all know there will be an “unhealthiest” list, Time Magazine will release a “Person of the Year” and that Forbes, with clockwork precession, will release its wealthiest person’s list.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. These pieces are bullshit. They’re created with generally unverifiable information and general opinion. Its exactly the kind of shoddy half-considered crap that journalists are taught to avoid.
But the other secret is, we love them.
Local media outlets scan the list to tell their readers about the local folks who made the list (or didn’t) and we all ooooo and aaaah over the raw figures of these people’s astronomical and unattainable wealth.
At the end of the day, these stories aren’t really any better that the SEO focused junk that journalistic sweatshops like Demand media crank out. For some reason, these link-bait articles are looked at with a more serious and forgiving tone that the “How-to” articles that the underpaid masses of journalism crank out at Demand. In my mind though, there is some practical purpose for a how-to article on connecting a stereo. There seems to be none in knowing how much wealth one billionaire has over another.