We are a nation being consumed by our own anger, anxieties, disillusionment, and alienation from one another.
They are emotions widely exploited by a vast media empire that employs everyone from late night comedians to early morning news anchors. They are manifest in our tribal politics and social behavior. They are also, of course, manifest in the persona and politics of our President, who rubs them raw when he should be applying soothing salves.
It is Donald Trump, on whom we place much of the blame for this current condition, but the truth is he is not the cause; he is only the result. Continue reading →
Apparently, it’s okay for the media to pay their sources, to buy news. ABC news does it and so do others.
More proof of that came on Sunday when CNN’s Reliable Source Anchor Howard Kurtz asked one of his panelists about ABC paying $200,000 to the central figure in a news story for information and material that would make its news broadcasts more appealing and therefore more competitive.Lauren Ashburn of Ashburn Media responded that the high demand for ad revenues among news operations is moving the needle toward that kind of checkbook journalism. The answer she said was to find ways to generate more ad revenue so the news operations would not be forced to buy and bribe their way to bigger ratings.
By that analysis, it is okay then for members of Congress to exchange campaign contributions for earmarks in legislation, because the pressure to raise so much money for their campaigns leaves them no other choice. No, actually, it is not okay. It is against the law. Checkbook journalism should be, too.
Andrew Kohut of the Pew Charitable Trust released an interesting snapshot of America’s youngest voters.
Calling it “A Portrait of the Millennial as a Young Adult”, Kohut says that voters from ages 18 to 29 are “confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They’re less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history.Their entry into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation.”