I think it was 1955 when I obediently lined up my seven-year-old self to get my polio medicine, delivered, I think, as a few drops of the good stuff soaked into a sugar cube. Clever folks, those public health pros.Continue Reading...
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Chuck Todd on Meet the Press recently referred to the 2016 Presidential campaign as happening in the “post-truth world.” Add this to the post-church world and the post-modern world, and what you have is a whole new world. Get on board, or not.
The very idea of a post-truth world sets my teeth on edge. Isn’t this a bit hyperbolic? There’s nothing new about news people making stuff up, right? Remember the Maine! (Citizen Kane) Boy sportscaster Ronald Reagan making up baseball play-by-play from newswire transmissions. Hildy Johnson (The Front Page) made up the news at a screwball pace.
Nonetheless, the very idea that Wayne’s World (Albania edition) is pumping out fake news just for kicks, and we’re buying it, is a bit much…isn’t it?
Just about every day, I hear something on the news or Facebook, or in conversation that leads me to think, Wait a minute. Don’t you remember that….” whatever. And being a history enthusiast, even with all the faults and biases of historians (like Thucydides), I always like to replay in my mind the historical events I can remember that bring better understanding and, I hope, wisdom to my interpretations and imagined solutions to the problems and crises of the day. For people reading the same news who don’t know or remember the history, I feel sadness, and for the media, exasperation that they seem satisfied to spew headlines and leads that excite and feed our anxiety but fail to place today’s tragedies in context. We are left to cower, fume, and worry instead of pause, ponder, and prepare to be watchful for other news that might help us discern a trend, plan a response, or take an action that would get us engaged.
But, hey, the news is a business and not a public service, or charity, or “helping institution.” It’s on us to seek out the context and understand how this latest detail fits in a bigger picture (which they all do). Or cower.
The same guy who took the broken world of book publishing and made it grow again while giving you and me and everybody a cheap way to embarrass ourselves in print has now bought the dear old Washington Post and wants to make it new again. I hope he can do for the news business what he has done for the book business. Continue Reading…
If I’m going to spend a perfectly good couple of hours watching a “presidential primary debate,” I want a debate…on actual issues. About the only thing I agree with Newt about is that the opening question for this week’s debate in South Carolina was inappropriate. The moderator apparently forgot where he was, mistaking a presidential debate for a talk news show…or did he?