The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fringe Benefits

A quick post on a big topic. We'll see how this works out.

Major arguments of national importance are being co-opted by extreme elements of our nation. I think we can say this much. And in it we have impugned our judgment by believing cohorts of uber-partisans at the expense of a true national and vibrant dialogue.

Many people have offered this elementary thesis to explain our countries current disarray and political bickering. People rage for the rise of some moderate-centrist, boring pragmatist that will deliver unto us some mediating power. Key word being boring. No one wants someone that everyone can agree with; good politics doesn't make good television. And so the politicos, the media and those that prop these functionaries up, have conceptually maintained an interesting spin on American culture: it looks at individuals and generalizes behavior; take a Cindy Sheehan and say all mothers are against the war, take another mother to say the contrary. I have seen about 20 veterans on tv proposing different viewpoints on the merits of the war. Is this story uninteresting? No, but passing opinion off as truth is quite the trick.

And the moral of the story: fringe groups offer the all too appealing soft news story because well they make people's blood boil or the reverse; the anecdotal tale of some mother in mourning has made her loved and hated. Profitable news is idealogical, it seems. Where's the hard news, America? Whatever happened to the no spin zone?


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