Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The News Media as Instructors not Reporters

This post from Ace of Spades HQ starts out with how the Washington Post buried a story about how Obamacare actually is going to increase the deficit, not lower it as was originally claimed. Further down Ace makes an interesting distinction about the role that the news media establishment believes they are fulfilling. His observations mesh with comments I’ve posted earlier about the Ruling Class. Ace’s analysis implicitly touches on the abandonment of any pretense of being objective. In our post-modern world these folks believe the truth is what they want it to be, especially if they believe it serves an end they feel is moral and justified. Just don’t ask them to objectively defend this position because, you know, objectivity is such a 20th century, out-of-fashion notion!

This story sums up everything that is wrong with the media, and why it is dying -- and why it should die.

The media is no longer in the information business.

They are in the instruction business.

This is an important distinction.

If you're in the information business, your stock in trade is information. You have no particular concern about how that information will be received, or interpreted, or used for making political arguments. That's not your business-- you are in the business of data, not Narrative and not the internal contents of your readers' minds.

You are not your readers' minders, nor their tutors: You stand equal to them. They are citizens are you are citizens; you have no special insight into The Truth, and they no special disadvantage in discovering The Truth.

Now, if you're in the Instruction business, things are quite different. You stand not as an equal with your readers, but as a Teacher. And, worse yet, they are Children in need of your guidance.

You cannot just offer information willy-nilly to children. …

You must be protective of Children, who are, in final analysis, incompetent (legally as well as actually) individual who need to be told what to think and how to think. You cannot give them license to think whatever they like, for they are not mature enough for that.

They haven't yet learned the skill of thinking.

Thus, everything you tell a child must be with rounded corner and soft padding. Children are dangerous, after all, to themselves and others, if not properly minded at every moment.

Why do people -- and not just strong partisans, but most anyone who isn't a diehard liberal partisan -- hate the media?

Because of this, this belief of the media that we wish or need their Instruction in ordering our lives and ordering our thoughts.

But they are determined to do just that.

This isn't even restricted to news -- the media's strong belief that it is the Thin Black and White Line between semi-retarded barbarians from Idiocracy and civilization is present in films and fictions, too.

Every goddamned movie is a children's movie, with a soporofic, corporate-approved Moral (don't hate strangers; be yourself!).

Even movies for adults. Especially movies for adults.

This is called "being responsible." It's also called "being condescending" and "making infantile, bad art," but they prefer "being responsible."

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