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April 25, 2004


Bush ignores anyone - experts, academics, journalists, career military officers - who he considers "elite"; i.e., tells him things he doesn't want to hear. That's obvious.

What's disheartening is that you right-wingers think he's wise to do this.

Actually, I think that you might find that your critique and Alterman's are actually quite similar.

Actually actually actually, actually actually?

I need to find a different word. Blogging has turned my writing to mush.

"Blogging has turned my writing to mush."

I've noticed that problem with my own stuff from time to time. I may have to cut back in favor of RPG materials...


PS: Never read the Alterman book... actually. :)

Perhaps the problem is the forth estate was supposed to be based on the hard work of investigative journalism and critical thought, none of which is reflected in 'gotcha' journalism. Well, it's either that or the lack of alcoholism, and those hats with the cards stuck in them.

My instinctive answer to the question of what checks the press, as a free-market lefty (yes, I was born in a lab), was to think,"ratings, ad revenue?"... But, unfortunately, pursuit of higher ratings and ad revenues are what have made the press so shallow and sensationalist, don't you think? People will sit through the commercials if there's good video, right? Is the shallow nature of journalism (especially broadcast journalism) our own fault? What can be done about this? Sorry, no answers today, only questions.

There are deeper sources of information, of course, outside the mainstream... but who but a few of us bother to dig? It make-a me sad. End result: Among industrialized democracies, we have one of the most poorly informed populations, whose job it is to elect, arguably, the most powerful executive on the planet. Everybody in the world watches our elections, and they make everybody quite nervous, I assure you.

The problem with the fourth estate, all those journalists want to be celebrities. Results in an unhealthy relationship as it lends itself to self promotion instead of reporting facts in the context of sound analysis.

I think you have it backward, Timmy. The television networks, particularly the 24-hour news network, need celebrities because their primary purpose is to sell products to consumers, not good journalism. FNN and CNN don't have big entertainment divisions to offset the costs of journalism, so they have to "sex it up" as the British might say. This is the market at work.


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