Friday, May 25, 2007

Quotes of the day ... and a comment

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" - Thomas Jefferson

"Any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America" - President Eisenhower

"We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason" - Edward R. Murrow

All great quotes, and they all have something in common. They're in Al Gore's new book The Assault on Reason which I began reading today. When I'm done I'll review it, but so far I've gone to say I'm incredibly impressed. Gore demonstrates his understanding of the role of reason and the marketplace of ideas in democracy, and how reason and open debate are now absent from that marketplace. The book is lucid, intelligent, eloquent, and substantial.

Which is what makes this so infuriating. Read the link and come back .... ok done?

Figures like Dowd, as journalists, have a civic obligation to democracy that they are supposed to fulfill. And yet they make a mockery of that duty (which they should view as sacred) by engaging in these inane and banal highschool like attacks on anyone who dares suggest that there is something wrong with the media and press in this country. News flash to the establishment press: when 7 out 10 Americans think Iraq had something to do with 9/11 (as they did when we invaded) YOU HAVE FAILED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


Sheldon said...

Yeah, Dowd just annoys the hell out of me with her silly columns. She is so bad that even her columns on Bush and Cheney with her "inane and banal highschool like attacks" annoy me. Not because I like Bush and Cheney, but because I find her an embarrassment.

C2H50H said...

I think Dowd is the NYT's attempt to appeal to that segment of the population that thrives on dirt and innuendo.

They're pathetic, and she's pathetic. I read a few Dowd columns, and they are utterly lacking in insight, analysis, or intellect.

Putting them, Friedman's, and Brooksie's behind the TimeSelect wall was a boon to mankind.

Anonymous said...

We, the American people, have failed ourselves. The media exists to make a profit, which it does by giving us what we want. And we evidently don't want truth badly enough to pay for it.

But enough people have gotten concerned to turn the tide. The totalitarians know they're losing. They've practically surrendered the war, just trying to hang on for a few more battles.

Emmanuel Goldstein

Hume's Ghost said...

What's actually worse than Dowd was Jack Schafer's comment that Gore's argument that certain forms of media can have deleteriour effect on democracy is "loony." What universe does Schafer live in? I'm really starting to believe that these folks mock and trivialize people who make substantial and serious criticism of the media because they lack the intellectual chops to actually engage the subject matter ... so they just character attack to defend their status quo.

Re: Anonymous/Emmanuel Goldstein

Gore addresses the failure of the American people as well. The book is not just an attack on Bush or the press, but is an examination of how as a whole, the country has failed to live up to its democratic potential.