Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The D's Op-Ed Page - Now with "Repeat" Feature

(I tried to post this last nite, but Blogger ate it. Let's try this again)

I always feel bad mocking The D, mainly because its so easy sometimes, but this needs to be commented on. I know how hard it is to find column topics, (I'm taking suggestions for my next submission) but sometimes reading the page to find out what your colleagues are writing can avoid potentially embarassing overlaps like this one.

Yesterday, staff columnist Dan Belkin '08 wrote this column "Runaway Media," lambasting the sensationalism of the MSM.

"Perhaps "hard" news stories are often delegated to the backburner because the public simply demands "lighter fare." In a fitting microcosm, President Bush's latest primetime press conference began 30 minutes earlier than scheduled due to lobbying from NBC. NBC did not want the press conference to interrupt the "The Apprentice." The Donald bested the President. Across the entire nation, a collective expletive from American teens could be heard as the press conference forced the postponement of "The O.C." (This decision may signify that Karl Rove is finally conceding the youth vote.) The nation has come a long way from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "fireside chats" that loyally drew 70 percent of the American public to hear about the "hard" news of the day. Though Americans were loath to surrender their Thursday night entertainment, the public has a responsibility as well along with the media. Americans must demand the abandonment of excessive, even if entertaining, media circuses for the sake of the most "newsworthy" stories."

Noble sentiments, to be sure, but similar to those espoused by contributing columnist Deborah Wassel '07 in her May 2nd column, "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Wassel deplores the taste of the American public for tabloid-worthy news items:

"The point is that not all the blame can be placed on the news media itself. Half the blame lies with the public.

The American people have been dumbed down to the point where they no longer have the capacity to demand better quality news.

They don't care much for valuable news.

People want explosions. They want prostitution busts. They want shiny things.

Garbage in, garbage out, as my fifth grade teacher used to say.

The American people need to wake up and tear their eyes away from the television long enough to realize they're being manipulated."

Both articles are well-written and interesting, but the overlap is just sad. It's indicitive of a great problem with campus debate, namely that there is none because no one pays attention to what anyone else says.


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