Wednesday, August 27, 2008

24/7 News Cycle

Alas, Dear Gentle Reader(s), we are in a quandary.  What do we do about the 24/7 news cycle?  Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention lately has been barraged with speculation about the performances of Senator and President Clinton at this year's Democratic convention.  Working citizens, that is, citizens who have real lives, not the ersatz life of a retiree, have asked about the possibility that Senator Obama might not prevail in November because of the Clintons' alleged residue of hard feelings after the Democratic primaries.

For weeks on end, the punditry has expounded on how the Clintons would probably not give their full support to this year's Democratic nominee; how Senator Clinton was already preparing for the 2012 primary season.  Commentariat flunkies were poised to parse each syllable and each breath of the Clintons' speeches.  If there were even a scintilla of hard feelings in the scripts, the 24/7 people were poised and ready.

Last night and tonight Senator and President Clinton put the lie to that speculation.  They spoke of their determination to put the Nation first, to insure the defeat of the Republican nominee.  They did so convincingly.  Alex Koppleman wrote he knew Senator Clinton's speech was a success because Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews could not find fault;  if you, Dear Gentle Reader(s), had occasion to visit Faux News, you would've heard those yahoos grasping at vacuous straws in their pathetic efforts to demean the Senator.  That's how you would've known she did a good job.

Television and the "blogosphere" and the 24/7 news cycle comprise a mixed blessing.  In order to garner readership and audience, those talking heads and pajama-wearing writers are desperate for conflict because that's where the readership is alleged to lie.  If there's no conflict, those souls tend to create it out of very thin cloth.

Our problem is how to learn to listen and read with a critical attitude.

Cui bono?

If it seems like the only ones who benefit are the people who blog and pontificate, then it probably should be received with skepticism.

Trust, but verify.

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