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« Torture and the Blogosphere | Main | That 'Liberal' Mainstream Media (TV News Edition) »

January 23, 2005



I'm sorry, but using the death of Johnny as a platform turns my stomach! It nauseates me! I mean, come on, MSNBC running an ad on their obit page to buy the best of Johnny.
Get a life people!


Oooops...And Dan, that includes you and Jeff!

William Timberman

If it means that we are no longer in thrall to a single national delusion, the fragmentation of news and information sources is a good thing. I grew up with network television, and it centered me, somehow, to know that I knew what everyone else knew, and that we could talk about the same subjects.

Then came the Vietnam War, and the veil was torn away. What we have now, -- Fox News and all the rest, is propaganda pure and simple, and visible as such. Call it devolution, or more properly, regression -- a return to the Hearst era, well before anyone asserted even the pretense of objectivity.

The truth is, to maintain a unified cultural perspective in a country as large as ours, there has to be an enormous amount of filtering. (Once, ten years ago I read submissions for a literary Webzine. I wasn't surprised to find that a large percentage of the pieces I read were as good as anything blessed by a national publisher, and that many were from perspectives completely outside the mainstream.)

So...filtering gives us a recognizable commons, but it also limits the conversation, and too often puts it exclusively in the service of people with money to spend. On the other hand, "letting a thousand flowers bloom," runs the risk of dissolving the cultural glue that binds us together, and allows us to identify our common interests and purposes. A twenty-first century Tower of Babel is not what any of us are after.

On balance, I judge the risk to be worth taking, and applaud efforts like yours, Dan, to foreshadow the rewards that await us if and when we solve the contradictions inherent in a true feedback system.

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