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It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News [Kindle Edition]

Drew Curtis
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $10.26
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

A hilarious exposé on the media gone awry, from the creator of the wildly popular

Have you ever noticed certain patterns in the news you see and read each day? Perhaps it’s the blatant fear-mongering in the absence of facts on your local six o’clock news (“Tsunami could hit the Atlantic any day!” Everybody panic!), or the seasonal articles that appear year after year (“Roads will be crowded this holiday season.” Thanks, AAA.). It’s Not News, It’s Fark is Drew Curtis’s clever examination of the state of the media today and a hilarious look at the go-to stories mass media uses when there’s just not enough hard news to fill a newspaper or a news broadcast. Drew exposes eight stranger-than-fiction media patterns that prove just how little reporting is going on in the world of reporters today. It’s Not News, It’s Fark examines all the “news” that was never fit for print in the first place, and promises to have you laughing along the way.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The editorial principle behind Curtis's Web Site is remarkably simple: readers submit news stories with their own wacky headlines, inviting snarky commentary from other readers. Here, he steps back to examine why "Mass Media" keeps churning out the sort of inane stories that are "supposed to look like news" that make the site so wildly popular. The critique is familiar—see Barry Glassner's The Culture of Fear, among others—but Curtis delivers it with richly sarcastic humor. A section on hysteria over unlikely disasters, for example, punctures alarmist stories with one-line synopses like "Oh my God, there's bacteria on everything." Other chapters explore fake news trends, such as "Equal Time for Nutjobs," which explains how 9/11 conspiracy theories manage to get public airing, or the proliferation of nonevents that are little more than publicity stunts. But the anger behind his criticisms of media companies for producing such nonsense is defused by the acknowledgment that readers actually want to be titillated. Unfortunately, the pleasure of reading online, where you can always add your own two cents to the conversation, doesn't always translate to the printed page; old user comments aren't so much comic relief as tacked-on disruption. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Curtis, founder of the hugely popular Web site, recalls how and why he got the idea to feature news that is really "Not News." The genesis for the site was correspondence Curtis exchanged with a friend he'd met while living in England; much of it was trading odd news stories. On a whim, in 1997 he registered the domain name while he pondered what to post. He decided to use the site as a clearinghouse for odd bits of news and commentary by contributors. Curtis includes excerpts from for modern descendents of Genghis Khan, tools Britons use for flossing--and biting commentary on modern news gathering, which Curtis complains has grown inane under the pressure of a 24/7 news cycle. Among his criticisms: canned seasonal stories, out-of-context celebrity comments, articles that are actually advertisements, and headlines that contradict articles. What's most fun about, which is used by radio DJs and commercial news outlets, is its rewritten headlines and streaming commentary. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (May 31, 2007)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000V5075M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,084 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting but wore thin by the end June 27, 2007
I really started out liking this book. The guy is right about the fake news stories, the filler and the crap in the news. I was reading this thing and enjoying the heck out of it. Its an okay read. But as I got deeper in the book I got bored as once you understand the crap thats out there it doesnt matter much what 'type' it is. But my hats off to the guy for creating a business out of this nonsense. Its fun and interesting ... to a point.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Thought-provoking September 7, 2007
By GenMe
This book is a rare, and wonderful, combination of hilariously funny and thought-provoking. Curtis' media analysis is dead-on (personal favorites: "Equal Time for Nutjobs" and "Proximity to NY/LA/Atlanta.") Anyone who pays even the slightest bit of attention to the news should read this book -- you will see things differently afterward. Among other things, you'll realize that a lot of the people quoted in articles on scientific studies as "opposing viewpoints" actually have no idea what the hell they're talking about. Plus you'll laugh out loud a lot.

Don't think you have to be familiar with the website to like the book -- I'd never been to before I discovered the book in the Nashville airport.

And I disagree with the PW review: The comments do add to the book, adding another layer of analysis and a lot of humor.

If you're looking for a fun read that opens your eyes to news you read every day, this one's for you.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fark Dis August 9, 2008
The website is a hilarious indictment of the ridiculousness and uselessness of Mass Media, and this here book is meant mostly for laughs. (Solid in-depth critiques of stupid news, usually with a focus on corporate/advertiser pressure, are easily found elsewhere.) On the good side, Drew Curtis has some pretty good insights on why news is so dumb these days, from the perspective of the informed outside observer. Good examples are his solid hatchet jobs on news coverage of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction or Dick Cheney's face shooting incident. Curtis also has a pretty well-considered closing chapter on how Mass Media is failing in light of the Internet, shooting down the old boys who continue to live with their heads in the sand.

But Curtis keeps falling back into thin examples of ridiculous stories that amount to little more than a boring list. There is also a lot of unintentional irony here, as Curtis is guilty of many of weaknesses that he sarcastically condemns from Mass Media. For example, he blasts mainstream journalists for a lack of fact-checking. But here he states that Alexander Hamilton is on the $20 bill; and says he was in middle school when Johnny Carson left his show (1992) after earlier saying several times that he was in college in the early 90s. Also, Curtis slams journalists for pasting old material into new stories to take up space. But a large amount of space in this book is pasted submissions from the message board. A few of these are surprisingly insightful but most are the cheeky pseudo-commentary that you'd expect.

This book is still good for laughs as you read about instances of stupid journalism from lazy journalists.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit unfocused January 9, 2008
This book's entertaining as a look into the types of stories that get recycled, hyped unnecessarily, etc. by major news outlets. But it's not sure whether it wants to be a "best of wacky Fark highlights" collection or a substantive critique of the state of news...the author even mentions trying to decide which area to focus on, before choosing both.

The result is an unfocused book. The anecdotes (most of the book) are interesting enough but grow repetitive, and the critique of news (a subject in which the author is really very qualified to comment on) is more shrill and snarky than reasoned. A late chapter briefly suggests fixes for the broken state of news; that's more of what I'd have liked to read, but right when it got going, then it was over.

A quick, fun read, but not as substantive as it might have been.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great essay padded into book form July 2, 2007
If you have little idea how the media works, and often wonder why Paris Hilton is given the "Breaking News" treatment while child soldiers in Uganda are buried on CNN's website, this is a good introduction. Much of the news is built on gimmicks that work to get said medium (TV, newspaper, radio, internet, etc) more eyeballs, more ratings, and more ads dollars. Here, Drew Curtis is on solid ground when he exposes he gimmickery involved in modern news media -- and often how shameless it is.

However, after awhile the format of the book sinks into a rut. Silly abuse after silly abuse is shown -- along with Farker's comments. It's not that they are bad, but rather they usually follow a pattern of having little to do with the issue at hand. Rather, they come off like Leno's late-night jokes - sometimes really funny, sometimes really dumb. After awhile, you get the hint. For someone who is first looking into media criticism (beyond accusations of bias and 'corporate' control), this is a good place to start getting your bearings. Otherwise, the aformentioned Neil Postman book is probably a good companion or substitute.

Still, this is a good place to start for everyone who has watched the nightly news and said to yourself "this isn't news." You're not alone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You think it was bad then?
This book was written in 2007, before Obama Derangement Syndrome and Bug-Eyed Hillary Haters became a thing. If you think news was inane then? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ron Gravelle
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book-time for a follow-up!
If you're a daily (or even casual) reader of, then you need to read this book. Drew offers some very interesting insights into how daily media works, all written in the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rich L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I gave it five stars. I don't want to write a review.
Published 4 months ago by Alex Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 10 months ago by Sean McGowan
1.0 out of 5 stars As Worthless as the Worthless News Written About
Someone who knows of my contempt for the mainstream media gave me a copy of this book. I thought I'd glean some good info as to media bias & other reasons to dismiss the MSM. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Gary M. Hetrick
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Novel
I've read this before, but at this price (11 cents) a hardcover copy is worth every penny. If you like thought-provoking comedy, don't hesistate, but to buy this novel. Read more
Published 23 months ago by ArthurSpeakman
2.0 out of 5 stars Hypocrite Drew, Anti South and Anti Christian
I will admit at first Drew and his Fark website did a good job shining a spotlight on the world of business and news mixed together in their lies and deceit. Read more
Published on February 5, 2013 by Waldo Pepper
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage, but you expected that
The humor of a s***ty book that sets out as its main assertion is that most if not all information is s*** and only drunk ex fratboys and brotards have a clue, is, while... Read more
Published on November 24, 2012 by Stephen Rifkin
3.0 out of 5 stars keeping our minds busy
I think it is highly foolish to think that a radio is announcing something when it just repeats the kind of crap that is produced in response to the news. Read more
Published on January 10, 2012 by Bruce P. Barten
3.0 out of 5 stars In this case, more would be more.
The fake news he cites all rings true. But, I think the subject should have been taken more seriously. Read more
Published on March 23, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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Drew cries to Amazon and negative reviews of this craptastic book are...
Actually, the submitter has a very valid point - even if it might technically be inaccurate. There were plenty of nonsensical negative posts that didn't add anything in terms of review content; so, I made a point to make a nonsensical positive post that didn't add anything in terms of review... Read More
Jun 13, 2007 by M. Stone |  See all 6 posts
Why is this worth buying?
Simple answer to your question is No, this is not worth buying. I quite enjoy the website from time to time, and discover links to put into my own snipurl newsletter, but its stream of one-liner consciousness does not deserve a book unto itself. This only reveals the reality that all our... Read More
Apr 30, 2007 by Shashank Tripathi |  See all 8 posts
FARK website redesign
If you're tired of, why not just go to instead? That's where all the Fark ex-patriates are hanging out.
May 14, 2007 by Jeremy F. Campbell |  See all 8 posts
Jan 5, 2007 by Doug Graham |  See all 6 posts
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Jan 9, 2007 by M. Allbee |  See all 2 posts
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