Thursday, 2 October 2008

When did people stop wanting to be broadly informed by a general interest newspaper?

That was the question put to me in a discussion about the death of public intellectuals and middle class aspirations to being broadly informed.

I blamed it on a Thatcherite/Reaganite ideological tipping point when people became more interested in the products of money (leading to junk bonds and this week's crash etc) than the broader societal trends and news that led or might lead to money making opportunities, and the decline of a moral imperative plus a social peer group dinner party pressure to be broadly informed.

Let's say late 1970s, I said.

(I might fine tune this point and date in the future but it'll do for now.)

Now we have not a doctor from Iowa, nor even a senior exec of a large American company, but someone who has a ONE IN SEVEN OR EIGHT CHANCE OF BECOMING THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, unable to cite a single newspaper she's read regularly.

Big picture: be afraid, be very afraid.
Big picture for newspaper industry given this woman is in her 40s and even claims to have a degree in journalism: be afraid, be very afraid.

Palin Can't Name a Newspaper She's Read Regularly (AP)
Published: October 01, 2008 1:27 PM ET
NEW YORK Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin repeatedly failed to cite a newspaper or magazine when asked what she had read regularly before John McCain picked her as his running mate, saying only that she had read "most of them."Palin also said that she doesn't believe that the media's coverage of her has been sexist.

"It would be sexist if the media were to hold back and not ask me about my experience, my vision, my principles, my values," said Palin, Alaska's governor.
In an interview aired Tuesday on "The CBS Evening News," anchor Katie Couric asked Palin what publications she had read to stay informed and to understand the world.
"I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media," Palin replied.
Asked for examples, she said, "Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years."
Asked again for an example, Palin told Couric: "I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America."
In remarks aired Wednesday on CBS' "The Early Show," Palin told Couric that she thinks media coverage of her has been guided not by sexism but by the fact that she isn't "part of the Washington herd." While she sees some double-standards in media coverage, Palin said she believes it's more attributable to the "media elite, the Washington elite" not knowing who she is than her gender.
Palin has only agreed to a handful of interviews by major news media since joining the GOP ticket nearly five weeks ago and has not held a news conference.
Asked Tuesday by radio host Hugh Hewitt if she agreed that interviews with ABC's Charles Gibson and CBS' Couric were designed to embarrass her, Palin replied: "Well, I have a degree in journalism also, so it surprises me that so much has changed since I received my education in journalistic ethics all those years ago."
She continued: "But I'm not going to pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrelful. I'm going to take those shots and those pop quizzes and just say that's OK, those are good testing grounds. And they can continue on in that mode. That's good. That makes somebody work even harder. It makes somebody be even clearer and more articulate in their positions. So really I don't fight it. I invite it."
Palin has been spending the last few days at McCain's ranch in Sedona, Ariz., preparing for her debate Thursday night with Democratic rival Joe Biden, Barack Obama's running mate.
Although Palin told Couric on Monday that she didn't have a "debate coach," the campaign said she is getting advice from McCain's top campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, and campaign advisers Tucker Eskew, Nicolle Wallace and Mark Wallace.
"I have quite a few people who are giving us information about the record of Obama and Biden, and at the end of the day, though, it is — it's so clear, again, what those choices are. Either new ideas, new energy and reform of Washington, D.C., or more of the same," Palin said.


International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Vacation /Business Trip Furnished Apartment in Paris

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