This blog is in defense of people, news snobs, who still read newspapers and subscribe to Newsweek or Time magazine. I can not think of my cell phone as a news information source. I have a hard time with anyone else who thinks this way. Besides the print media, there is television news reporting and current topic shows and internet sources.
There’s a program called, Morning Joe. It has guests to comment on various current topics. I have included a Wikipedia links, on the show and on the host Mika Brzenzinski. Her father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was admired as a worldwide expert in foreign affairs (see information at end), with outstanding accomplishments including nuclear arms reduction in Russia and the US recognition of China.
Donald Trump made an extremely crude remark through Twitter on one of the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenzinski. I don’t tweet or receive tweets. People are saying tweets reveal character. In Trump’s case, it is more of a confirmation. The Morning Joe show has certainly had its share of controversies, But the list of both liberal and conservative guests is very impressive. Trump’s comments have piqued my interest and I’ll probably start watching the show.
I believe the slew of 24/7 “news” network, has resulted in a number of shows with an particular political agenda. Probably the worst is Fox News. Their reporting of the news is usually well done. But, I generally don’t listen to the conservative commentary from “news shows.” I don’t know what is gained from listening to five people on a couch all agreeing with one another.
Perhaps what turns me off the most, is when the show’s host cut off the responses of their guests, use sarcasm and “righteous indignation” to make their point. Worst offender of this is Lou Dobbs of Fox News. He poses long leading questions, which are not answered in the manner he likes, are quickly cut off, with the comment, “Well we are just about out of time.”
I like BBC, and some of the shows on CNN. Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program is far too short, but I think the focus is generally good. I always go for content over commentary. The recent firing of Greta Van Susteren at MSNBC for falling ratings is troubling. I always admired her ability to ask questions of her hosts in a concise and impartial manner. She had a great interview with Scott Pruit, administrator of the EPA. I know declining ratings means declining revenue. Shows like hers are needed at times of crisis as viewers want to hear intelligent and impartial interviews from people at the top.
Then there’s the highly biased radio programs, and internet sites. Because it is so easy, they can generate a ton of sensationalism. Usually, there is a product for sale, or contributions solicited.
One which came to light at a White House briefing was “Project Veritas” with a great name, but also 100% biased cut-and-paste videos. Veritas is the goddess of truth, who hid at the bottom of a well because she was so elusive. I don’t think she would appreciate Mr. O’Keefe’s videos – I think an appropriate title would be “Project Dolos.” I would call Dolos the god of marketing and social engineering. Dolos has found his Garden of Eden on the internet.
I really worry that the future generations of Americans are not going to be able to discern the difference between real news and the YouTube variety of cut and paste sensationalism.
Finally, my opinion of the print media.
Warren Buffet, the richest man in the US, reads six newspapers a day. I suspect he’s always has an ear to hear from experts in select areas and use his own head for information processing. The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, always put accurate content first, despite everything Trump has said. There’s a digital version of the Financial Times, which I might subscribe to in the future. Some of the greatest news reporters work for these newspapers. Time and Newsweek are excellent.
However, print media in the content first style of the Financial Times or the New York Times is a tough business. I am very glad that Jeff Bezos, of Amazon bought the Washington Post, which will ensure its ability to provide honest investigative reporting for decades to come. It is what the subscribers paid for and he won’t change this. The commentaries might not suit Donald Trump or any other president, Republican or Democrat. But, they will come from the best experts in their field.
I am not against the internet. I have written before that the internet is an incredible resource- if you go to the right places It’s all free. Wikipedia and Scotusblog are two of my favorites. I use the fact checking sites generally after a major speech. Politifact.com and factcheck.org are my favorites.
I confess to being a news snob. My filters are up as it is all content over commentary. And the New York Times has the Qatar crisis on the front page. It’s about time!
Her father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was admired as a worldwide expert in foreign affairs, serving as National Security Advisor under President Carter, and then later asked to stay on in the role when Ronald Reagan became President. He declined.
Wikipedia: Zbigniew Brzezinski
Wikipedia: Mika Brzezinski
Wikipedia: Morning Joe
Wikipedia: Jim O’Keefe (founder of Project Veritas)
A reference is made to the god Dolos (representing trickery and deceit) and goddess Veritas (representing truth) comes from Greek Mythology. In one of Aesop’s fables, two statues are created, one of Veritas, and another an imitation. When life is given to the two statues, only Veritas can walk with measured steps. The imitation had no feet. Thus, in the long run, truth overcomes falsehoods or deceit. Please click on the link below, to fully enjoy how Aesop told his fable, in the 6th year, BC:
Link on Aesop’s fables