Sunday, July 31, 2011

Details, details

Having trouble engaging my inner optimist today. I mean, cruise any news aggregator and look at the headlines. It's all about the debt ceiling fight. The stenography is excellent. You'll find out in initimate detail who is saying what about the fight. There's a wealth of "expert" speculation about who is most embarrassed, what it means for their power to rule, who gets the most campaign advantage and so forth, ad nauseum.

What you're not seeing, anywhere, is what the actual bills say. Outside of rumors from unnamed inside sources, and by now everyone should realize how unreliable those are, not one detail about what specifically is on the table for cuts. It's all theater from the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill to every newsroom in the nation. Especially the TV newsrooms The average marginally engaged voter knows only what the polticians are saying, but is left clueless about the real world results of the competing proposals. Know I'm stating the obvious, but this does not make for an informed electorate nor does it lead to good governance.

Meanwhile, I watch the big media folks I follow on Twitter sneer at the idea that any of this dysfunction is on their heads. But their coverage belies their denials. The 24/7 news cycle has broken our information chain. The rush to fill white space with unfounded rumors fuels confusion and creates needless mass freakouts. By the time the real story comes out, the majority of the electorate still has no idea what really happened while half-truths and outright lies become accepted "truths" because most people only caught part of the frenzied speculation but missed the barely mentioned corrections in all the chaotic, hit chasing, rhetoric.

Nothing is going to change until the media admits their culpability or we deconsolidate the media conglomerates so they don't have control of the narrative anymorel.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Blogger Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I fear my inner optimist is permanently AWOL.

Mad Kane

3:05:00 AM  

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