Saturday, May 30, 2009

Popularity Above Probity

This morning I was listening to WaPo reporter Chris Cilizza on CSpan tell High School kids about his career in journalism. When he got to the point of insisting that although he constantly gets comments from readers telling him what an idiot he is, but the next day those same commenters are back telling him what an idiot he is, I realized that it is, indeed, the credo at that paper that reportage is not their purpose.

A few years ago, editor Hiatt claimed high popularity because of the number who comment on his editorials. Since that time, I have been very aware that the purposes of his editorial ventures was much different from what they claim.

Controversy is created by differences of opinion. What better way to produce controversy than to write what you know readers will disagree with? Since most of the readers of the WaPo region, and demographic, are educated and knowledgeable, how better produce disagreement than by making statements that are wrong, or at least ignorant?

Today, I went to WaPo to see a comment Avedon made on David Broder's op-ed there, that she accessed through Digby. The comment was highly worthwhile, though the op-ed itself was rightwing talking points.

Avedon wrote:
I don't understand this column. On most issues, this judge has proven to be remarkably conservative - not surprising since she was placed on the court by a conservative president.

Your definition of "liberal" seems to be "not vociferously opposed to Roe v. Wade." But that's not a liberal position, it's mainstream - most Americans do not oppose Roe v. Wade.

Why is overturning Roe of such import to you, and why do you think it is the defining issue for not being a raving crazy loony lefty?
5/30/2009 8:12:36 AM

As Digby pointed out yesterday, Broder represents the Villager hopes that Roe v. Wade will be overthrown. Having women and their medical options restricted by laws espoused by rightwing thought, rather than science, is promoted by the fading Villagers.

As Avedon points out, most of this country disagrees with that viewpoint. Still, the media continues to give the major voice to that minority view. The impetus of creating controversy, by disagreement with rational thought, has overwhelmed the media, mostly it seems because they produce high numbers of responses by rejecting true and rational thought.

Facts have that liberal bias that Colbert realized years ago. Rational thinkers get enraged and make the furor that the Villagers want, because we can't stand it that print and broadcast gets it wrong.

I think it's time to remove the rational community's support. We're promoting irrational viewpoints. As no matter how often we point out that they are wrong and ignorant, that only convinces them further of the drawing power of rightwing views. I believe it is time to reject the Villagers outright.

I've stopped reading WaPo editorials, and commenting in response to Fred Hiatt's editorialisms, even though reading the comments often is quite enlightening. It's my choice to remove the impetus of enlarged audience.

We as liberals know better than to believe, and want to enlighten the weak-minded. It's that impulse the Village idiots are using to convince advertisers that they are selling papers. It's our best qualities that are being used against us.

If it promotes support for idiocy, I'm not going there. Support for denying women medically sound advice and procedures is wrong. WaPo by publishing the Villagers encourages that. It makes profits for them. Personally, I am removing myself from that equation.

No more reading the Villagers.

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Blogger Nancy Willing said...

yeah, well said Ruth.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks, indeed. It's past time to end our support for the pretense that Villagers are reality based.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Hi, Ruth....nice blog, I am waiting for your next article.

10:57 PM  

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