September 23, 2004

Yeah, pretty much

I've been thinking (obsessing over) the state of the media and its place in our democracy the past few days, which has led to a rather nasty little vicious cycle of despair and acute depression. This lead me, today, to contemplate blogs.

My thoughts are in line with Ezra's over at Pandagon. The internet is an unprecedented development in the history of human society: a forum where (nearly) anyone can set forth with their opinion on whatever, and where (nearly) anyone else can read and respond to that opinion nearly instantly, regardless of the distance separating the two. But while this means good, important ideas can be discussed and shared with astounding ease, it also means we're inundated with even more crap than before. There are two institutions vital to democracy precisely because they help us flush the crap and keep the ... whatever good happens when you poo. Blogging, and the internet more generally, are no replacements for quality public education and rigorous journalism. The only people who think so, the people waxing triumphant and idiotic in the wake of the CBS memo fiasco, are hard-right conservatives -- the acolytes of an ideology which, since the days of Goldwater, have seen journalism and education not as providing a foundation for democracy, but instead as weapons to be used by one side or the other in political warfare.

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