Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Media again?

I liked the apology from Harper's regarding the piece by Lewis Lapham in which he responded to the speeches at the Republican convention...before they actually occurred. It's nice to know he was keeping an open mind.

Speaking of the ongoing discussion about objectivity in journalism (or the lack thereof) here is an excerpt from an article available at JSTOR.

"There is a widespread prejudice against the newspapers, based on the belief that they cannot be trusted to report truly the current events in the world's life on account of incompetence or venality. But in spite of this distrust we are almost altogether dependent on them for our knowledge of widely interesting events....The function of the newspaper in a well-ordered society is to control the state through the authority of facts, not to drive nations and social classes headlong into war through the power of passion and prejudice." -Delos Wilcox, 1900
The American Newspaper: A Study in Social Psychology

(Thanks to MR for finding the article)

Then there is this story which made me want to bang my head into a desk. The portion of the article that talks about the "gun" controversy is especially ridiculous, however the thing that I found really absurd was this bit: "Carmakers in the U.K. often come to the attention of regulators for their portrayal of speed in ads, which the advertising code says must not ``encourage or condone fast or irresponsible driving.'' Ford's Land Rover division did not immediately comment on the ban. " Can I just say ugh?

Speaking of head banging moments...I was watching C-SPAN the other evening (yes I know how depressing that sounds) and they spoke to a protestor from a gay and lesbian alliance group who was giving the usual attacks on the Republicans and Bush in particular. All was normal...and then I heard something that I have heard repeatedly many times but in this instance it struck me as particularly absurd. She made a reference to the fact that Bush is not even a "legitimate" president. Believe it or not I am not going to argue on that point (though I could). She referenced the notion that Bush lost the popular vote. I'm not going to argue that (though once again I could). What I am going to ask...and I mean this seriously...is how can any member of a minority, especially one that has been oppressed by the will of the majority, make an argument based upon popular opinion? I might also add that I think it is completely disingenuous to bring it up since I can't imagine that if she believed he did win the popular vote and even if the whole Florida thing hadn't happened, that she would somehow support him and his decisions (nor would I expect her to). The will of the majority is not something to be looked upon in some noble light...if you have the will of the majority it can often (though not always) mean simply that you have sacrificed just enough minority groups to placate the masses but not quite enough to make the collective minority the majority. As many of you know, I am not a fan of democracy. Democracy for its own sake is nothing to be applauded. I may post more on this later, but I need to get home. I want to see what Arnold has to say tonight.


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