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Playing the media like an instrument

Joey Skaggs is an artist, but his medium isn’t painting or poetry, he uses the media to create huge projects. You see, he creates pranks. He changes the world and people’s perceptions of reality by putting fake information into the machine that has been set up to show us reality. His point, that what the media reports needs to be questioned, is obvious, but his pranks are clever.

He has a list of all of his pranks on his site, but some of his more memorable ones include a cathouse for dogs (a doggy prostitution ring) and vitamin pills made from cockroaches. Both of these received huge media attention and his fake cathouse for dogs almost got him arrested after it was reported on ABC news.

While I was looking through his site, I came across a great essay he wrote on how to play the media. If you ever have to deal with the media, the advice in this piece will help you put yourself in control. Or, you can just use it to pull your own prank.

ANGLING FOR THE JOURNALIST
Concoct a well thought-out story. TV news producers, writers and reporters are greatly under the influence of Hollywood. Hollywood is equally influenced by what appears in the news. Our culture is reflected in both of these forms of media. So it’s important to combine the necessary theatrical elements to attract them. In essence, give them what they want!

Dangling the line:
You may select from any of the following hooks, lures, and tasty baits. Mix and match for a formula that is sure to work.

Dependable hooks:

Sex
Controversy
Power
Sensationalism
Exploitation
Heroism
New technologies
Betrayal
Revenge
Incompetence
Faith
Little guy against the system
Wealth
Determination
Anything with an animal or a child

The whole article.

In any case, all of the articles on his site are an interesting glimpse into how the media works and how you can take advantage of it. It’s not easy. He points out that faking a business actually requires more work than actually having a business.

For me, it made me realize how many different mediums there are for us to apply our creativity to. Even if you can’t change the world to be the way you want it, maybe you can get the media to report that it’s that way.

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