Book 18 of 52: The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone, illustrated by Josh Neufeld.
The thing about writing about media is that it’s very rarely about anything. It’s actually really navel-gazing. I think Gladstone’s thesis is what I’ve long understood, which is that American media is best personified by the snake eating its tail. It’s an organizational mess and that is the basis of this book, which is merely stating the obvious.
I like that it’s a graphic novel with the writer as a character, explaining stuff, because that’s the sort of thing I did with The Worst Writer Ever.
While there are many interesting points, like the media is biased against presidents, but at the end of the day I’m not really sure what’s the point. Perhaps the point is that the media, with the attempt at being unbiased actually is biased and is influenced by their corporate overlords—because that’s human—or that America’s press is quite schizophrenic, and doesn’t know what it’s trying to do. I buy this last idea, but I’m not sure that’s what her point is.