Media Reboot

As the ancient physician Hippocrates told us, “For extreme diseases, extreme  methods of cure…..are most suitable.” We have now reached the point where  America’s news media is in moral free-fall. We have reached a situation  requiring extreme measures, for example a public unwillingness to accept any more the garbage that tries to pass as news. We either need widespread mass dissent or wide refusal through our  pocketbooks to force a major reboot of the whole enterprise.

Our free society deserves once again a circumspect and on-task press.

In lieu of this reboot happening, my wife and I are contemplating extreme  measures of our own. Today, I called to cancel the data service on my  smartphone. Our main use of data on our smartphones in recent years has been to stay in touch with news. But now, it matters not what political side of the  fireplace you sit on, the chimney is broken and the room is fouled. The air is  no longer breathable.

How did it happen?  For starters, the marriage of news and entertainment has been a moral disaster for the American people. It is hard to always know which  is cause and which is effect, whether our own indecency corrupted the media, or  the media did it to us, but it must be beyond doubt clear that the marriage is failed and has not brought any lasting utility to our souls.

We need to come to terms with the distinct roles that words and images at their  best ought to play in a mature society. Words have been losing to images for  many decades and it is now even doubtful that many of our current thought  leaders are even aware of the problem.

We also will need to have a major new conversation as a nation about the value  of “free speech”.  One would think that was a settled topic, but it apparently  is not. Speech is less free now than in the past, and the right to believe what we  speak about is even more compromised than ever. We need to finish the work that a  free society must do to protect speech. Outside of yelling “fire” in a theatre  or making specific threats against people, freedom of speech ought to be as free  and ubiquitous as sand at the seashore.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.