Thursday, October 06, 2005
Pedro Knocks Out Al Gore In The First Round
You see, Weird Al gave a speech deploring the fact that television had destroyed the print media and thus the "marketplace of ideas":
But all the while, television's share of the total audience for news and information continued to grow -- and its lead over newsprint continued to expand. And then one day, a smart young political consultant turned to an older elected official and succinctly described a new reality in America's public discourse: "If it's not on television, it doesn't exist."Go read Pedro's appalled commentary:
But some extremely important elements of American Democracy have been pushed to the sidelines . And the most prominent casualty has been the "marketplace of ideas" that was so beloved and so carefully protected by our Founders. It effectively no longer exists.
It is not that we no longer share ideas with one another about public matters; of course we do. But the "Public Forum" in which our Founders searched for general agreement and applied the Rule of Reason has been grossly distorted and "restructured" beyond all recognition.
And here is my point: it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.
Whether it is called a Public Forum, or a "Public Sphere" , or a marketplace of ideas, the reality of open and free public discussion and debate was considered central to the operation of our democracy in America's earliest decades.
This is where he loses me. I don't own a television. Like most of the people my age, I get the vast majority of my information online, whether from online newspapers or blogs. And blogs represent more of a "conversation" than the wonderful world of print that he extols from the 19th century.And there's more, but you will have to go over there to read it.
How idiotic. As much as he would like to characterize the "great American marketplace of ideas" of the 19th/early 20th centuries as a people-power kind of grassroots forum, the truth is that it was exclusively elitist. A mother of 3 from Kansas was not getting her ideas into print, and neither were fishermen from South Carolina or teachers from California.
Remember, this was a guy who couldn't carry his own state- the people who know him best.
And who was the officially sanctioned party replacement? John Edwards, another idiot (not quite a shmuck- too little political experience to date).
He too, couldn't carry his own state.
Links to this post: