Monday, July 30, 2007

The News on News



In Getting Serious I tried to gather my thoughts about the special place that the media occupies in America and how important its role is. I recognize that my interest in this subject was sparked by Al Gore’s new book The Assault on Reason (yes, I’ll do a review soon.)

I also recognize that in the greater scheme of things, my writing ability pales in comparison to the professionals. A case in point: James Fallows’ blog today. Moving the Bancroft/Murdoch choice to the moral level

Mr. Fallows is on the same general subject but his knowledge is much deeper, his research more thorough and...well, he just plain writes better than I do. For instance, just take this one sentence;

”The fundamental problem with today's American press is a mismatch between its economic basis and its public function.”

There you have it. The institution that we depend upon for information has to compete in a market where titillation pays more than illumination.

Do yourself a favor if you have the time. Make sure you click on the links that Mr. Fallows’ provides. They provide important information that will further your education. One such link is to The Wall Street Journal riddle by Eric Boehlert. In it you will find:

”But therein lies the Wall Street Journal riddle. While cheering each anti-Murdoch statement from the families, I'm left perplexed by the fact that the Ottaways and the Bancrofts are so (admirably) focused on maintaining journalistic integrity at the Journal that they are willing to leave Murdoch's billions on the table, yet they're the same trustees who allowed the newspaper's right-wing editorial page to practice, and perfect, a noxious brand of misinformation that doesn't even qualify as journalism. If owning the newspaper remains such a deep public trust for the families, why have they allowed the editorial page to stain the entire Journal news operation?”

Just in case you thought I’d forgotten I’d written this.

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”From Saturday’s Wall Street Journal editorial.

” If Congress decided instead to privatize the whole system, as Britain, Canada, Germany and other countries have done in whole or part, we'd hardly object. But it seems more likely that our Solons in Washington will bring it down to the wire over union givebacks and the like.”

As I told you earlier, I’m in the middle of a lot of travel so I don’t have time (at the moment) to give this editorial the thorough thrashing it deserves. But I don’t want you to forget to see the forest for the trees.”

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I will get back to the WSJ’s editorial. But right now, I have to face reality and mow the yard. Which reminds me, I need to work on my post; “Top Ten Reasons I Hate Summer.”

Don Brown
July 30, 2007

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