Scandals, lies, voyeurism and bad grammar for page views and money…

Caroline Mutoko, KISS 100 Presenter

“In a world hungry for negative news, gossip and scandal, page views are generated by catering to the lowest common denominator and the lowest, primal need in a human being. The need to be vile. In the world of social media and gossip blogs the repugnant need to the anonymously vile fuels the page views. Enter the world of lies, rumours and malice on your daily gossip blog. If you really want to know what’s behind the nasty tales you droll over daily, follow the money.

Those blogs would not exist without you and because the losers behind them know you are a closet nutcase, they make a living by feeding your need for salacious gossip about people you would never openly admit you envy and are indeed a little jealous of. Being a troll, a bully and a shallow-what-no-not is a drug habit – you’re junkie, he’s the peddler. Tsk, tsk – hold your tongue. I am not done yet.

Have I got your attention now? Good. Take notes. Gossip blogging isn’t about honest amazing stories or freedom of press as one idiot puts it. It’s about filth. What use are real stories anyway?

The truth doesn’t sell as well as lies coated in malice and just a touch of cloak and dagger. But where do they get the fodder you wonder? It’s simple. Gossip bloggers target names that make your heads spin.

Yes, yours. By and large the rumour mongers don’t care much for the people they write about, in-fact they don’t know us or pretend to – but they know that you do.

When I hear people asking of certain gossip bloggers “what’s wrong him, what’s his problem?” I laugh. It’s not him, it’s you. He knows how petty you are sitting behind your phone, laptop or PC at work.

He knows you are shallow, a closet anarchist, bottom feeder and best of all you are idle and so if his gossip blog can tell nasty stories at least thrice a week and use names like, Jaguar, Octopizzo, Julie Gichuru, Linus Gitahi, Caroline Mutoko, Raila Odinga, Rachel Shebesh, Sonko, Maina Kageni, Mutahi Ngunyi, Mutula Kilonzo et al – he knows by the very nature of who you are, you will click, read and spread.

The more page views he gets the more google ads he gets the more money he gets. He’s the pimp. You’re his whore and you perform on cue.

Wait a minute. Didn’t you know this was about page views and money?

Oh get a grip!

A few months ago the buzz names were Luo, Kikuyu, Raila, Uhuruto, Cord, Jubilee, IEBC and Mutahi Ngunyi. Before that Safaricom, Bob Collymore, Saitoti, NTV, Citizen TV.

Internationally the game is the same – Beyonce, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston… I’m sure you get the drift. The science and method to the madness is the same – write rubbish, coat it with a little circumstantial truth and whip up a feeding frenzy. They only expose our shallowness as a people. It’s gruel and pigs.

The more it stinks the more the pigs gobble it up. I know, the penny just dropped and you’re squirming. It’s okay.

So, to the nonsense that was written about the late Mutula Kilonzo – what a silly tale. What amazes me is not the nerve of the fool that wrote it, and quickly tried to cover his tracks, but the sheer stupidity of those who didn’t simply read the first line and dismiss it as crap.

Say it with me – bottom feeder. It stunk and you were drawn to it, not repulsed.

Do you know why that story thrived, ridiculous as it is – because it exposed the belly of the beast. This is who we are. Idle, myopic and without the capacity to reason.

A few years ago, when the same losers wrote nasty things about Julie and her marriage she called me. I had to actively search for the material and read it. Madness. What was interesting about that episode is how people would react the minute I dismissed it as rubbish.

You would see a flicker of disappointment even anger. They wanted to so badly believe the filth. I’m sure the army that’s been out there yelling in my defense has noticed the same.

The minute you tell them how ridiculous the whole thing is, they seem incensed. They want to believe it, they argue with you and when it seems you just might be making sense, they turn on you and attack you. Well, why aren’t you playing along? Boohoo.

But here’s something I learnt in my months of defending my friends and colleagues in media and in public office – there’s a hint of envy, an underlying need to believe that our lives aren’t as regular as they seem.

In fact in my case, verging on the boring – and anyone who can show the bottom feeders, that maybe we don’t have it all (because apparently we do) becomes an instant sensation.

Let me spare you the bile that keeps you awake at night while we’re sleeping. That person is playing to your most base emotion. The truth is a lot less glossy, less sensational and less appealing – however that’s why it will never feature on a gossip blog. Page views and money is the name of the game.

That said, allow me to take a moment to thank the gossip-peddlers. Yes, thank you. The last two weeks have been wonderful. I have never felt as loved, protected and cherished as I have since this madness began. The army that moved in to ensure I was well, protected, smiling, is larger than I could have imagined or prayed for.

I am a very lucky girl and I don’t take that for granted. The number of people who covered me in prayer and called to say as much overwhelmed me. The flowers and chocolates, the hugs from nowhere and everywhere and the sheer muscling to stand by me has been phenomenal.

To my knights and ladies in shining armour (police, investigators, journalists, bloggers, mums, girlfriends, clients, true friends and well wishers) I couldn’t thank you enough. I will never get through all the e-mails and text messages, but I need you to know I heard you and I am blessed to have you. I will pay it forward.

At some point I was worried my speaking engagements would be cancelled. Perish the thought. They are all on and still on schedule with loads more pouring in. Dear gossip blogger, Thank you for bringing the people that matter rabidly to my side, to my defense. Thank you for affirming to the listening public and my advertisers that I matter.

You have created audience numbers for me I could never have dreamed of and advertisers who are smart on the mark are jumping at the gun to get on-board. It has been awesome.

I recall telling a friend of mine, “…the people who love me and pray for me out-number the nutcases”. He snorted and said “even if there were none, there’s me. I love you and I’m here”. Enough said.

So am I upset? Yes. What upsets me is that you denied the Kilonzo family a chance to bury the late Senator with minimal fanfare. This family has no illusions of who they are or who he was and they are fine with it. What’s your problem? They know more than you do. What are you trying to show them?

I’m also upset that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or even celebrate Mutula. The Mutula Kilonzo I knew was a smart man, a funny man and above all a very nice guy. Certain things will always stand out for me about Mutula.

He was a brilliant legal mind. He stood by what he believed and didn’t give two hoots what anyone thought. If you’re a newbie at Radio Africa you don’t know this – but Mutula stood by this organisation solidly. When the late Mutula became a minister years ago – he and Otieno Kajwang made Kiss 100 their first call and their first stop.

Mutula was also gutsy. This man fought to stop this nation from being dragged to the Hague. His attempts were defeated at Cabinet level and trashed in parliament. I spoke to him once during that time and he was gutted. He sounded winded. Perplexed. The only other time I remember him sounding so sad was when he lost his mother. His words to me “do everything for her while she’s still alive.” He lost his spark there for awhile. His mother meant the world to him.

Mutula never had an over-inflated sense of himself. I spoke to him when he was shifted out of the docket that was justice and constitutional affairs to education and the voice on the other end of the phone couldn’t have been more jovial or upbeat. Bless.

He was also an easy going guy. Earlier this year, Mutula and I had what was to be our last conversation ever. I was looking for a wheelchair for a young man in Moi University.

The only person I know who can get wheelchairs is Mutula’s son Junior. But I had lost his number. I always believed I would see him and thank him in person. I waited for the elections to be over, then I waited for him to settle into his new job as senator. I should have called right away, but I waited for the right moment –it never came. The moment is now gone, lost forever. That, now that makes me mad.

To the entire Mutula family, be well. My thoughts and prayers remain with you. To Mutula Kilonzo – Asa, Tata, Koma. I’ll come to your graveside one of these days and say farewell, but not before I do as you would have done and bury these liars.

Koma nau, koma nesa. I have work to do.”

Lifted verbatim from It’s All About Page Views And Money by Caroline Mutoko, published in The Star on Monday the 20th of May 2013.

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