Day By Day

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brooks and the Politicized Mind

David Brooks' recent column in the New York Times laments the condition of political discourse in America today and attributes it to "the politicized mind", in other words people who see everything and anything through a political prism. Unlike his colleagues at the Times, however, he does not blame "tea partiers", "extremists" or any of the other hobgoblins of the liberal imagination. His sights [if I may still use such a term] are trained on the MSM itself. He writes:
We have a news media that is psychologically ill informed but politically inflamed, so it naturally leans toward political explanations. We have a news media with a strong distaste for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, and this seemed like a golden opportunity to tarnish them. We have a segmented news media, so there is nobody in most newsrooms to stand apart from the prevailing assumptions. We have a news media market in which the rewards go to anybody who can stroke the audience’s pleasure buttons.

I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible. 
 Quite right! Opportunistic, irrelevant, and shamelessly irresponsible are a pretty good description of today's mainstream media.

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