Monday, October 04, 2004


If there are any constant readers left, apologies for no postings for a bit. Been busy, and I have about only two things to write about these days: 1) politics, which I'm avoiding because at this stage in the game I think most people have decided what they're going to do, and I don't know anyone who's really persuasive in changing most adults' political mind - even someone with the talents of Lileks I doubt has turned any hearts, because it really is about the issues (regardless of what the media portrays) and most know how he or she stands; 2) movies, music, and books. I've not seen any movies to rave or rant about lately. Music, to me anyway, is dead until the big corporations finally realize they can't run it like a brand name chain restaurant. I've stared several books, but have abandoned most of them, because I'm now at the age where I don't have the time for a bad book, and I've now read enough that I can pretty much determine within about 33 pages (and a quick glance at the end if it's a literary (read "no real ending") novel) when something is gonna suck out loud.

Thus, I've had nothing to report. Life is funny that way sometimes. About the only thing I was saving in my blog scrapbook for use later was this mui excellent analysis by Bruce Springsteen on the state of the press these days, so here ya go:

RS: What do you think of how the election is being covered and conducted through the press?

Bruce: The press has let the country down. It's taken a very amoral stand, in that essential issues are often portrayed as simply one side says this and the other side says that. I think that Fox News and the Republican right have intimidated the press into an incredible self-consciousness about appearing objective and backed them into a corner of sorts where they have ceded some of their responsibility and righteous power.

The Washington Post and New York Times apologies about their initial reporting about Iraq not being critical enough were very revealing. I am a dedicated Times reader, and I've found enormous sustenance from Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd on the Op-Ed page. There has been great reporting, but there has also been some self-consciousness in some of the reporting about the policy differences in this election.

This is going to be an issue after the election. I don't know if it began with the Iraq war, but shortly thereafter there was an enormous amount of Fox impersonators among what you previously thought were relatively sane media outlets across the cable channels. It was very disheartening. The job of the press is to tell the truth without fear or favor. We have to get back to that standard.

The free press is supposed to be the lifeline and the blood of democracy. That is the position of responsibility that those institutions have. Those things are distorted by ratings and by money to where you're getting one hour of the political conventions. No matter how staged they are, I think they're a little more important than people eating bugs. I think that for those few nights, the political life of the nation should take priority, and the fact that it so casually does not means something is wrong. If you want to watch people eating bugs, that's fine, I can understand that, too, but let's do it on another night.

Real news is the news we need to protect our freedoms. You get tabloid news, you get blood-and-guts news, you get news shot through with a self-glorifying facade of patriotism, but people have to sift too much for the news that we need to protect our freedoms. It should be gloriously presented to the people on a nightly basis. The loss of some of the soberness and seriousness of those institutions has had a devastating effect upon people's ability to respond to the events of the day.
From: - via Rolling Stone.

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