Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The irrelevance of the mainstream media

With every passing day, our newspapers and TV news outlets demonstrate that they aren't worthy of the name. They have simply ceased to make any serious effort to sort the significant from the trivial. The "news" they deal in is a personality parade, combined with whatever is photogenic (hurricanes, floods, angry mobs, etc.).

The news media are like those CD changers set on "shuffle play" in restaurants. A random assortment of a few tracks: Palin, Obama, show business celebrities, identity politics, gas prices. News editors are essentially entertainment editors. They don't seek important stories; their job is to filter out any information that might confuse or bore a populace armed with channel-switching remotes.


Our mainstream news sources seem to be on an island designed by Hollywood and created by computer imagery, where every story must be in the script or it doesn't exist, and there's a star system with its A-listers like Obama, Palin, Hillary. Everyone else is just extras casting. The wider world isn't even atmosphere.

For every 500 stories about Obama versus McCain — neither of whom has any thoughts beyond campaign strategy, and neither of whom as president is likely to change the country's direction — you will find one or two about … well, let's see.

The government's ventures into state socialism in a desperate throw to stop the collapse of the economy aren't working. No one can say where it will stop — will the taxpayers soon own General Motors and Ford, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs? By the time the situation stabilizes, any pretense of an economic system based on private enterprise will be null and void.


Seven years after invading Afghanistan to prong the Taliban and set up a freedom-loving democracy, it was announced yesterday that we are sending 6,000 more Marines to support a Muslim government threatened by a revivified Taliban. Over in Iraq — ah, we're all tired of hearing about Iraq.

Does it matter that Britain's transition to a Muslim country is turning a corner and heading into the homestretch?

Five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

The government has quietly sanctioned that their rulings are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court. Previously, the rulings were not binding and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

Does it matter that U.K. social welfare now taxes what's left of its rapidly emigrating middle class to support Muslim polygamy?
Husbands living in a "harem" with multiple wives have been cleared to claim state benefits for all their different partners.

A Muslim man with four spouses - which is permitted under Islamic law - could receive £10,000 a year in income support alone. He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefit, to reflect the fact his household needs a bigger property.

Does it matter that at least one European country seems to be on the verge of taking a stand against Muslim colonization?


English former church

I would think all these things matter. But they don't to our American media types, who strut and preen, proclaiming themselves to be professionals, insiders, responsible fact-checkers in contrast to those loony-tunes bloggers without press passes.

"This just in! Sarah Palin … "


David said...

Unfortunately, though, more than half the people in the country are still pretty much dependent on the old media for their information. In 5 years this may not be true anymore, but I'm not sure we have 5 years...

leadpb said...

It is something of a chicken-and-egg scenario. Are the media simply providing (and inflaming) what the superficially interested majority has the attention span for? Maybe when a few of the Five Pillars of Capitalism crumble further people will start to wonder about the more particular underlying causes of our woes. Philosophy and ideology alone cannot replace painful specificity in attracting the notice of our fellow countrymen.