News Flash: The Emperor Has No ClothesBarry Ritholtz is a Wall Street type, but he runs a blog The Big Picture that isn't the standard Wall Street hype and he does publish the odd social commentary like the above. I find him well worth reading.
Fareed Zakaria has reached the terribly obvious and long overdue conclusion that the right wing in the US is a fantasy-based denier of reality.
After years of globally embarrassing foolishness, a cowed and cowardly media is belatedly showing signs of speaking Truth to Power.
For his observation that the earth is round, serious people are showering Zakaria with effusive praise. While the reality based observations are long overdue, it is embarrassing that we feel so compelled to applaud it. People seem to be forgetting: This is what media is supposed to do. The role of the press is to point out the absurdities of the powerful, afflict the comfortable, reveal what those in Power want to keep hidden.
Of course, that has taken a back seat to much more important events, such as Anthony Weiner’s junk shot, Michael Jackson’s untimely death, and an especially close American Idol final.
Bread & Circuses, anyone?
What does it say about our damaged US democracy and its wounded 4th Estate (aka corporate media) that merely making an obvious assertion is news? Is it an event when an essential element of a functional democracy actually has the bravado to tell a significant political movement that “No, the earth is not flat.”
The right wing has long embraced magical thinking. You can see it in across a continuum: It is a short hop from believing that Supply Side Tax Cuts are self funding to all other manner of nonsense. From denying Evolution to managing Health Care costs to Global Warming, it is a continuum. Making no-plan invasions of other countries is the natural progression of such magical thinking. If your beliefs are righteousness enough, then the outcome is assured by a munificent deity.
As a personal belief system, that may be fine, but as government philosophy, it makes for horrific policy decisions.
The Retreat from Empiricism has been detailed over the years, not by the mainstream media. It has been the alternative press — websites, blogs, critics outside of the mainstream — who have stated the obvious for many, many years. Somehow, the Media missed nearly all of it. It wasn’t until the Katrina disaster that the scales fell from Press’ eyes. Suddenly, in the middle of George W. Bush’ second term, the Press found their voice. Years after 9/11, after the national terror alert was manipulated for political purposes, long after the Nation was lied into a war of choice through dishonest and deceptive means at great cost in blood and treasure, did the Media found its voice.
Heckuva job there, Press corps . . .
Friday, June 17, 2011
Barry Ritholtz takes 'The Media' to the Wood Shed
The green shoots of a new dawn, a new spring. Here is an excellent post by Barry Ritholtz on his The Big Picture blog that takes American media to task for their incompetent journalism through praise for what appears to be a new policy of actually acting as journalists!