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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 07/18/2012

Parker and dumber news

Kathleen Parker’s column today traces the way the news and its audience have increasingly dumbed down for one another until we’re all dumber and have more dumb things to say but less time to say them. She proposes a solution: teaching news literacy in schools. If students are forced to evaluate the dumbness of their news sources, they will seek out less dumb news sources and thus become themselves less dumb, and they will make less dumb news consumer choices.

By dumb, Parker means increasingly partisan — not thoughtful and illuminating so much as argumentative, designed to appeal to prejudices we already have. PostScript thinks it’s a business model problem — a 24-hour cable news channel works best when it is not dependent on the actual news but rather a steady supply of people who will say things whether or not there is news. Also, studies have shown that viewers want to be right more than they want to be educated, especially if the education contradicts our current thinking. Again, the safer business model is pandering, which makes us dumber.

Not that you’d know it from the clever comments to Parker’s column, though! Everyone there is sick of being dumbed down and partisanized.

This old man wishes that the news market, well, wasn’t thought of as a market:

The problem is the news media wants to sell magazines and newspapers — TV wants advertising. They are not reporters of old. They just want to have mayhem — that sells. What is needed is reporters who check out the facts and report them no matter what they are or who they hurt.

Benson agrees:

There is a lot of bias in the media, on both sides. Why not look at the news objectively instead of through partisan-colored glasses? First, it would be good to encourage the journalists to get more objective in their coverage. That won’t happen, though, because the ratings go to the entertainment shows, not the objective ones.

RetiredGuy has a solution:

To find out what is going on in the world and how the rest of the world view us, go to the web news pages of newspapers in Ireland, England, Germany, Canada, Australia and Russia. It’s really interesting and informative reading. A quick scan is all it takes to see if there is something of interest.

HaymarketObserver has one, too:

PBS, including NPR, is non-commercial so they do not have to deliver eyes and ears to their advertisers. And NPR, unlike every single other news outlet on our planet, is subject to having to prove they are not biased whenever some Congressman wants to get free publicity.

red_kite rejects that source of non-bias and suggests another:

Whoa! PBS offers a subjective reality! Guess that’s why the LeftLiberalDemocratProgressiveSocialists like it so much.
Recommend the Wall Street Journal for objectivity — WSJ has become the new ‘newspaper of record’ in this USA.

bls2011 had an experience in which he or she realized there isn’t an unbiased TV channel that can reliably be on all day:

Recently I had to spend a week in a hotel for business. The hotel’s large TV in the breakfast area was broadcasting Faux News all the time. I find their fictionalized news and constant attacks on our President offensive. I thought of asking the hotel staff to change the channel but — to what??? To one that supports my political views??? Hardly a fair request. There is no news station that would leave out the political agenda, no news station that strictly reports current events by professional newscasters.

GerryMaine says that news was never as good as you think it was:

Walter Cronkite was an avowed socialist. He never met a leftist he didn’t love!

Pjs1965, a truly unbiased observer, thinks that these here forums can contribute to more objective media and that The Post eats the New York Times for breakfast — BAM!

With all its faults, the one thing the WaPo has is this right here: A real time forum and place to vent . . .views with a pretty lenient WaPo nanny. It serves a purpose, so grab your flame thrower and asbestos suit. The New York Times really lost me with their move toward a paid audience. They really lost a lot of their more interesting postership with that move toward Mammon. Their loss.

PostScript, obviously, lurves this forum and all it stands for, and believes that every unbiased one of us is the best thing about America, much better than the New York Times.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:25 PM ET, 07/18/2012

 
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