Sunday, December 6, 2009

Your Pal The President part 2

Okay so this has been bothering me. Yes it has. It's funny cause this started with just something about the Demolition Derby, and it spread to the face book thing. The face book thing is a terrible example because it trips over my views of interweb privacy which is something I am fantasticly torn on. Seriously, my views flip flop on it every time I think about it. It is such a big topic and there is so much to get done on it, and a case like the Arlington Mayor's idiocy is a prime example.

So lets remove these things from the calculation and head somewhere else with this. Lior said something this morning in responce to yesterday's post. I didn't get to read it because at the same time I noticed that I noticed the time which was informing me that I was supposed to have left for work already. It had to do with Tiger Woods and people not being able to name their senators. So we will start there. The media! And the past.

The current way our media handles things is pretty shameful. I'm suprised their parents don't disown them for their actions. Still I think there is something telling in all of this. There is a relativly recent historical moment that we are still reeling from. Our inability to deal with this is linked to our inability to move fowards as both a country and a governmental philosphy. So lets head there.


Wait no...Damnit I am missing an article of time that has a brief history of the president's and the press. I really wanted to quote from that before going fowards. What's imporant about it is that there was a time when presidents wouldn't let reporters past the white house gate. I don't know the name of the president but he eventually took pity on them when they were out there during a rain storm. Now the damn people are everywhere.

What will really help bring this entry into focus for a lot of you, is if you go watch the movie Nixon/Frost. It's a good albeit boring movie about how someone who is little better than a talk show host managed to get the ultimate confession out of a man everyone reffered to as Tricky Dick. We look at the relentless mining of our politicians social life now with a mix of both fascination and horror. Of course I say politicians but really it is only the president and when one of them makes an ass of themselves. But it is important to realize that one of the biggest journalistic breakthroughs of the las 50 years was when Frost got Nixon to confess that he did something wrong. It is tremendous, he did it though a combonation of solid research and rediculous pandering to things that simply don't matter.

There is a part in the movie where one of Frost's aids tells him that he shouldn't be interested in irrlevent details like how Nixon took his bed to china with him. Frost replies that is what interested him though, and that right there highlighted the fact that there, at that time, there was a critical break between reporters and entertainers.

Fast foward to today and that break is almost gone. The average american's ability to distinguish between opinion peices and reporting is in the toilet. Even smart people who should know better. More and more news stations are reporting on things that were once the perview of vapid entertainers, and now vapid entertainers are giving Senators and presidancial canidates more face to face air time than some of the news corporations. Hell we have not one but two vapid entertainers (sorry Daily Show) who make a living off of making fun of how the news is becoming vapid entertainment.

This is a movement all darkly predicted by a movie called Network, also a 70's film. And it is more or less coming true. Hell I bet if Glenn Beck were to tell people to shout out their windows, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore" people would fucking do it. Holyshit they would. Terriflying.

So yes. Here we are at the root of the problem.

I don't have much time yet but I would like to point out another irony real quick. I started to wonder how Republican morals got linked to the conservative government phiosphy. Think about it, Republican=small government. If you don't belive that then go home. But they also want to ban gay marriage, ignore global warming, and be generally bossy about how we live our lives. You would think then that they would want a really strong federal government. So I started asking around. There were some precursors but in general, the first person who successfully equated the republican party with moral superiority was Nixon. It just sort of stuck around ever since, mostly because the Democrats kept reacting to it. I've been given the titles of several books to read on the topic and I plan on doing so, soon hopefully.

Alright I suppose I should go do something werk related.

1 comment:

thekolo said...

FOUND IT! God I have so many issues of time just lying around my house. It feels like I just threw them away. Christ.

Thomas Jefferson reffered to the press as ink stained wretches

Roosevelt is the one who kept them out in the rain

Many presidents would get press questions in writing and wouldn't allow direct quotations

At one time things were so limited a Pulitzer prize was handed out to a reporter who got a sit down with FDR

Live telecasts started with JFK

In the first 6 months of office Obama has had more direct prime time air than Bush did in 8 years of presidency.