Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Media We Deserve

Many like to talk about how media outlets cover up major stories, like the abuse of drones. There are notable exceptions, but to a large extent, the charge of spiking stories contains an element of truth. For example, the lack of coverage of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, which by all accounts is a monstrous horror, is truly appalling, and in large part ideologically based.
But the media is a business, which provides what its customers want. And what most Americans want is not cold, hard truth, which is what a free press should provide. Most people want to see celebrities making fools of themselves and politicians saying stupid things. We want news as entertainment: titillating sex scandals and lots of pictures of puppies and other cute animals.
We want from the media, in short, what we get. Our attention spans are too short for serious issues like debt and drones. Too many numbers, too many moral implications. And the media obliges our lack of healthy curiosity, and gives us a nothing cocktail.
It is indeed frightening that media outlets doesn't cover important issues. But what is truly frightening is that they don't cover major issues because our total lack of interest.


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