Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Truthfully, Who Needs To Read Them?

The Anchoress brilliantly summarizes the op-ed writers at the NY Times:

Maureen Dowd: Bush is the feckless boy king, Rove is in charge, Rummy is a violent fool. Hate, hate, hate that Bush!

Krugman: Bush is a feckless liar and a loser, Rove is in charge, Al Gore won Florida, the economy is going to tank…! No….Now!…The economy is going to tank…NOW, dammit, NOW! Grrrowl, sputter, spit, spit, hate, hate, hate that Bush!

Frank Rich: Bush is a feckless moron, Rove is in charge, I am the intellectual superior of everyone at this paper, and sooooo culturally aware, hate, hate, hate that Bush!

Bob Herbert: Bush is a feckless racisthomophobehe-manwomanhater, Rove is in charge, I am the intellectual superior of everyone at this paper, hate, hate, hate that Bush!

Truthfully, who needs to read them?

Apparently, more and more people are coming to the same conclusion.

For decades, I read multiple newspapers daily--including the NY Times. I was--still am--a "news junkie" who is somewhat obsessed by what is going on in the world.

I can't pinpoint exactly when I started to notice that all of a sudden, my news sources began to let me down. It was a gradual process that began sometime during the Clinton years. I began to have a vague unease because all of a sudden all my "sources" were saying identical things. I was no longer getting multiple viewpoints/perspectives about events in the world. Specifically, this began on the op-ed pages; but slowly it trickled into the news stories also.

I remember when I first noted a story on the front page of the Sunday NY Times that was clearly an editorial opinion. At first I thought they had just mislabeled it as a news story. But then it started happening regularly. At the same time, there began to be more and more "lifestyle" and "news-lite" pieces on the front pages of my sources. On one memorable occasion, I remember snorting when I saw some pathetic story about how things were so tough for drug addicts as the lead story. It reminded me of Gail Wynand's Banner newspaper in the novel The Fountainhead. .

Today, even the movie reviews and food sections cannot be counted on to forgo political commentary and often gratuitously insert anti-Bush rhetoric in-between the recipes and theater schedules.

Enough is enough. The rise of the internet and the realization that journalists are no more objective than anyone else--stated professional ethics and values notwithstanding--are combining to turn people like me away from sources that are no longer trustworthy; and whose agendas have become blatantly obvious.

So, I remain a news junkie. Now I surf the web and read all sorts of opinions and news sources. Like before, I sample many; and then come to my own conclusions.

With all the firsthand information available on the internet from more diverse and more expert sources; truthfully, who needs to read the MSM anymore?

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