The failures of the press have contributed immensely to the emergence of a talk-show nation, in which public discourse is reduced to ranting and raving and posturing.
The lowest form of popular culture—lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives—has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.
We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.
Increasingly, the picture of our society as rendered in our media is illusionary and delusionary: disfigured, unreal, out of touch with reality, disconnected from the true context of our life. It is disfigured by celebrity, by celebrity worship, by gossip, by sensationalism, by denial of our societies.
The greatest felony in the news business today is to be behind, or to miss a big story. So speed and quantity substitute for thoroughness and quality, for accuracy and context. The pressure to compete, the fear somebody else will make the splash first, creates a frenzied environment in which a blizzard of information is presented and serious questions may not be raised.
Topics: News, Media, Action
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