Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Fark.com and the voice of reason
So I talked to Drew Curtis yesterday. Curtis is the mastermind behind Fark.com, the news aggregator site that posts -- and invites -- often humorous one-liners about stories.

Curtis has a new book out, "It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News" (Gotham Books), so with the Paris Hilton maelstrom still swirling around the news hole, it seemed like a good time to call.

Fark had a link to a Hilton Associated Press wire story yesterday on its lead "Not News" page -- the story, amusingly, came from the staid Forbes.com site -- but it wasn't the most-commented-on story. (That was the Chris Benoit tragedy.) That fits with what Curtis has come to expect from Fark -- that stories played up by the mass media (excuse me, Mass Media) aren't always the type of thing people are talking about.

But he pays tribute to Hilton for staying in the news -- which is not easy, even with 24/7 news channels and PerezHilton.com-type gossip sites. It takes work, he observes.

"It's very difficult to keep yourself newsy. You notice you don't hear anything about GoldenPalace.com anymore," he said, referring to the casino that made its name buying absurd items such as William Shatner's kidney stone.

"It's Not News, It's Fark" is a funny book, containing some of the site's greatest hits, but it's also a sharp and well-deserved criticism of the news media -- and life in a capitalistic, all-information, all-the-time world. "Because these types of stories draw eyeballs," he writes, referring to a genre of news he calls "Equal Time for Nutjobs," "bring in ad dollars, and fill space on slow news days, Mass Media can't bring itself to stop covering them."

He also offers some solutions in a strong final chapter, ideas that stand little chance of working in Web world where, as Curtis writes, "it's the fluff that brings the masses." Mass Media has to play up more serious news, he points out, but audiences also have to care.

But it's almost always been so -- take a look at 19th-century broadsheets or 1920s tabloids, for starters -- which is why he's considering a history of media for his next project. "People don't realize how far back this stuff goes," Curtis said.
because a guy that manages a message board is the end-all, be-all of media criticism.

whatever dude.
Was Drew Curtis compensated by Golden Palace for mentioning them in this story?
I love Fark but CNN "discovering" it is life imitating art. Rick Romero would be so pleased.
Fark Fark, you've jumped the shark
but you once were a beautiful song
now the booze flows like mad
and we're no longer sad
here at bannination.com

/we're the best.
Fark.

Shark.

Jumped.
I post on Fark, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies...
Fark.com used to be good. Then, sometime in fall of 05 it got too big and just wasn't fun anymore.
You'll get over it.
The first anonymous post absolutely hits the nail on the head. A guy who's site became famous because of a picture of a squirrel with big gonads does not have the right to criticize anyone.

"It's not news, it's Fark.com" is as much news as The Daily Show. Neither Drew Curtis nor Jon Stewart viewed as the elites of journalism.
You know what's not fun anymore? Kidney stones. Poor Shatner.


What were we talking about?
It's not CNN.com, it's a blog posted to cnn.com's front page, and turns out to be an advertisement for a book and a message board, pretending to be a newsworthy editorial.
didn't you hear? boredom is the new black.

who gives a fark

oh yeah, everyone.
Drew Curtis is the man.

So is Fark.

The squirrel picture only made it famous to you - everyone else knew it already.
Psst. Dude. Umm.. He's talking about you.
Fark will always be a poor man's Plastic.com.

The original, often imitated, never quite duplicated home of recycled news on the web.

Viva Plastic!
Duke. What else do I have to say?
Can I has post on CNN?
Those who claim Fark has "jumped the shark" as it were just got caught up in some of the behind the scenes drama the mainpagers arent quite so exposed to. The site has plenty of merit, both intellectually & just for kicks, and I've heard the book's pretty astute as well.

/not a shill.
Since when has Fark, or Jon Stewart for that matter, claimed to be among the elites of journalism? They make FUN of the mass media, they are COMEDY. They are not journalists and they never said they were. It's like saying the Onion has poor journalism.
Quite some time ago, the Fourth Estate in this country became as self-righteous and utterly without merit as the First and Second.
This page must have been discovered by some dark corner of Fark hatred.

Fark is the best it has ever been, which is the coolest place on the web.
Fark kept me sane whiling I was fighting on the front lines in Iraq & Afghaninstan.

I am a war hero.
Fark used to be the greatest spot on the web. Now that Drew has sold out, it pretty much stinks. Take a look at web traffic at alexa. Fark.com has been steadily declining for over a year now.

Drew, you had it. You lost it. Bring Fark back buddy.
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