Friday, October 1, 2010

Barking MAD

Political Discourse

“My colleague, cartoonist Jim Morin, did this great animation on The [Miami] Herald’s website. Guy sits down with the family dog to watch a little television. Out of the box spews a loud cross-talk of invective, accusation, venom, tirade and diatribe. Dog starts barking at the hateful box. A moment passes. Guy starts barking, too.

“It is as succinct a description as you will see of what now passes for political discourse in America. . . .

“Watching cable TV news—often a bad idea—one cannot escape a sense that everybody in America is yelling at everybody else.

“But what about the rest of us?

“People frame all this as a debate between political extremes, a mud fight between conservatives and liberals. I submit that it is more than that. I submit that because they are louder, more colorful, crazier, angrier, and thus, more entertaining, the fringe elements of American political thought—right, and, increasingly, left—have made themselves irresistible to the 24-hour cable and Internet megaplex which, like a shark, is always swimming in search of its next meal. In response, that megaplex has ceded those denizens of the fringe the center stage and given them a megaphone.

“The result has been less a clash between ideologies than a clash between reason and its opposite, between those who are willing and able to talk a thing through, think it through, even argue it through, and those who are unwilling and unable to do so. We’re talking about people who believe what they believe because they believe. Their ignorance is bellicose, determined, an act of sheer will, and there is not enough reason in all the world to budge them from it.”

—Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist,
The Miami Herald, Sept. 25, 2010.

Editor’s Note: Watching the watchdogs of the press.

Today’s Wish-I-Were-Here Photo:
Amber Waves of Grain

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1 comment:

  1. Ah, Mr. Pitts. Another poor idealist who sees the world as it should be. Talk things out? Silly man. It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about winning and losing. How else can one explain that moron the Republicans are funning for Governor of New York? Or the moron they’re running against Harry Reid in Nevada? Or the moron they’re running in Delaware? Or Michelle Bachman? Or Jim Diment? Stop me before I do more.

    I’m just upset that the Democrats don’t have too many of their own idiots. They (we) keep running “reasonable” people for heaven’s sake? What’s up with that?