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Silent3

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Gender: Male
Hometown: New Hampshire
Home country: USA
Member since: Sun Oct 3, 2004, 04:16 PM
Number of posts: 12,630

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I hate the way the media thinks it's their job to channel stupid people

Our news media should inform AND ENLIGHTEN.

It's bad enough a great deal of the media falsely confuses (and in many cases, perhaps I'm being overly generous attributing this problem to mere confusion) fairness with both-siderism. While the media should, of course, strive to be objective and neutral, a free press needs to be very partisan about being pro-democracy. Without democracy and basic liberties, their mission to inform is doomed.

On top of the both-siderism, however, the media are constantly framing political stories in terms of how a fairly ignorant, not-very-analytical, not-very-engaged public will react to the dribbles of information they receive, often misunderstand, and often forget in ridiculously short periods of time.

In this framing, politicians, their actions, and their policies, are primarily judged not on their inherent merits, but how what they do will be perceived by an ignorant, disengaged public. It's much more important, apparently, to spend the most time talking about whether people will notice or care that a policy is good for them, rather than discussing if it is good for them.

This idea that "perception is everything" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Our press should being doing more explaining, more enlightening, should be doing their best to drag people out of their ignorance and disinterest, rather than treating the ability of politicians to hammer through or work around that ignorance and disinterest as the gold standard of good politics and good policy.
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