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"You cannot have your news instantly and have it done well"

Cy Whitling

Recently I read a book called “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday. Doug Bishop of told me to read this book and I am eternally in his debt for that. The book covers a lot of ground, from outlining the current media structure to specific examples of how to manipulate it.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the book but it definitely is good food for thought.

At some point I will write up a full review and try to articulate my takeaways, but for now here are some quotes from the book that really stood out to me.


“News is created and driven by marketers, and…no one does anything to stop it.”

“The infrastructure of the Internet can be used against itself to turn a manufactured piece of nonsense into widespread outrage and then action.”

“I was indulging myself in the illusion that we can deal in filth without becoming the thing we touch.” - Budd Schulberg

(About blogging and internet news) “It’s all just professional wrestling.” -A.J. Daulerio

“It is not news that sells papers, but papers that sell news.” - Will Bonner

(On the Huffington Post business model) “Picture a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates.” - Tim Rutten

“An article that provides worthwhile advice is no more valuable than one instantly forgotten. So long as the page loads and the ads are seen, both sides are fulfilling their purpose. A click is a click.”

“Media was once about protecting a name; on the web it is about building one.”

“The reason the knives are so sharp online is because the pie is so small.” Henry Kissenger

“Talkativeness is afraid of the silence which reveals its emptiness.” Kierkegaard

“Being right is more important to the person being written about than to the person writing.” 

“Iterative journalism makes the news cheap to produce but expensive to read.”

“Snark is profitable and easy for blogs. It’s the perfect device for people with nothing to say but who have to talk (blog) for a living.”

(About bloggers complaining about “fake news”) “It’s like Kim Kardashian complaining about how fake reality TV shows are.”

“You cannot have your news instantly and have it done well.”


The questions and problems raised in this book are really interesting and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the media, journalism, or marketing.