...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

FREEDOM FROM INFORMATIONAL AUTHORITY. SCARY THOUGHT.

The other day I found myself watching The 700 Club, with Pat Robertson. It came on right after the local live chat show, beginning with one of those "KONG has received a fee for the broadcast..." announcements, like the infomercials. I was struck...how rational and slick the show seemed. How reasonable and personable the avuncular old wing-nut was, on the air, and how well-designed and smooth the production, how state-of-the-art-professional-TV. Normal people are watching this, I thought. How mainstream the alternate-paradigm ambiance seemed. This could be CNN or Fox or MSNBC, CBS, ABC, whatever. No florid faces or subcultural gobbledegook. Well, no more than the others.

I also saw Michael Moore with Oprah. Wow. No more rumply slob. Well, except on his Website. Look at those glasses. Haircut. No baseball cap, no windbreaker. I think the guy's lost some weight. And he didn't say a mean word, even against the pharmas, one target of his new movie, Sicko.

Wow. What's going on?

We should well and truly stop looking for overt hormonal imbalance in the sources we choose to demonize. I prefer to think the New York Times isn't a left-slanted rag, of the same species as, say, the HuffingtonPost. I like to think there is such a thing as journalism, and that FoxNews doesn't make it their first priority. I do agree with Al Gore that the media, all of them...well, maybe not The News Hour -- plunks Entertainment way too high on their editing priority lists. It is getting tougher to sort out unspun facts you need to be a citizen, assuming you haven't given that up.

In a way, it's a good thing every voice seems reasonable. You can get the relevant stories on Al Jazeera, without any more spin than anyplace else, maybe less. Nobody really owns the truth, if anybody ever did. With more voices, though, the scary thought is: we really need to look at all sources. We may even have to learn to think, if we don't just want to be dragged along with one or the other American sub-herd. So, I'm going to read Fox and the Times and MSNBC and BBC and CNN and, oh all right, the Washington Times even. I'm going to try to think.

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