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Matt Wells on Katrina and the US Media - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
September 10th, 2005
07:41 pm

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Matt Wells on Katrina and the US Media
Here's an interesting article: Has Katrina saved US Media?

I think he's rather optimistic, but I'd like to think he's right.

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From:gamahucheur
Date:September 11th, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
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While the present state of affairs is wretched, I thought that his idea of salvation was perverse. What we had before the present era wasn't particularly honest or courageous. The muted reporting of to-day is partly a result of entanglement with those who are now powerful, but the muting also has much to do with those in the media having in the post-Watergate period over-played their hands, spinning an unsustainable view of the world.
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From:ijon
Date:September 11th, 2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
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spinning an unsustainable view of the world.

...namely?
From:gamahucheur
Date:September 12th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
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It was essentially the evolved vision of the New Deal, in which benign state action could fundamentally reshape virtually all aspects of human life for the better. Keynesianism could end a business cycle caused by markets. Wise and benign state regulators could make products safe an affordable. (General increases in prices were simply a result of private greed, with no relationship to the money supply, and wage and price controls could check that greed.) The Soviet Union would become ever-more humane while showing the world what could be achieved through egalitarian central planning. The world's supply of petroleum would be exhausted by the '90s, but state intervention could give us a bright future of solar power, fusion, &c. The state could humanize the institution of marriage by, for example, requiring that housewives be paid salaries. And so forth. Under this world-view, all good and intelligent people agreed to all these things, and behind any rejection of this vision would be malevolence or stupidity or both.

Things that were supposed to work here didn't, and things that were supposed to be the only alternatives were shown not to be.

We don't need a media that bashes one pathological coälition to promote another pathological coälition. We especially don't need a media that pretends that the only alternative to their favored coälition is some ostensibly more sinister coälition. We need reporters whose commitment to reporting the truth is stronger than their desire to promote social programmes.
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From:ijon
Date:September 12th, 2005 08:56 am (UTC)
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Well said!

You know, I envy American poltics at least this much: political discourse, alongside the usual and inevitable lip service, monied interests, etc., actually includes genuine political discussion, i.e. putting forth opinions about government (as distinct from merely addressing some remote "the government") and the meaning, means, and boundaries of the republic that is the US.

A more-or-less reasoned argument about "big government" vs. "small government", to name one major issue, has actually been going on in the States for at least 150 years, and, at least in some aspects, dates back to the Continental Congress.

The republic of Israel has not discussed its regime, its policies, the meaning of its state of republic, nor education, medical care, welfare, or any other topic, except the one cancerous issue that has overtaken all public debate (such as there is) in Israeli political life, namely, the occupied territories and the questions around them (settlements, human rights, defensible borders, trangressions against international law, etc.)

In the meantime, those areas that are not discussed, either languish in a state of inertia since 1967, or actually deteriorate and wither due to lack of public attention, opinion, scrutiny, and criticism.

And I don't know how much of the damage would be rectifiable if and when the Israeli public decides to turn its attention back to politics beyond the OT.
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