Friday, October 01, 2004

Orcinus: The cost of media failure: "In one of his recent pieces, Somerby pointed with a kind of savage finality to the bottom line of the media's flagrant frivolousness and demeaning of the national discourse: It puts us all at serious risk.... We still treat our national politics like a combination sporting event and gossipfest. We're still demeaning the national discourse with a steady diet of propaganda/spin souffle served up on a platter of triviality, with a side of slander."

"[Somerby:] And now, as [the media] clown about peanut butter, Osama's men are still at work. And what will happen to your country because Wilgoren and Dowd set the tone? Let us finally tell you your future: Osama's men will come with a bomb (see below), and they'll destroy an American city. American society will end on that day. And when it does, you can think of Wilgoren and Dowd -- and you can think of the "letters editor" who laughed in your face with that letter today. They've made a joke of your discourse for years -- while your enemies hunt for a bomb. There is little chance those enemies won't succeed, because screaming idiots -- screaming idiots -- have long been in charge of your discourse."

"[The] media have instead defaulted to Position A: Whatever course of action George W. Bush takes is a priori good, and done for sound reasons. Neither, for that matter, is his competence ever seriously questioned. The reality, as I've been discussing, is that Bush's "war on terror" is an incomprehensible exercise in increasing the likelihood that high radicalized, highly motivated terrorists will again strike on American soil. A serious war on terror would begin from a recognition of the nature of the threat, with a considered response that's both flexible and comprehensive. Bush's Iraq war is none of these."

This angry critique is no doubt justified, but the nature of the corporate media, as has been exhaustively demonstrated, precludes responsible or truthful or democratic journalism. The answers must be found outside that system. Orcinus emphasises the role blogs can play in this.

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