Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another Crisis! Informed American Minds EXPLODE!


And Fox News Is There To Entertain The Remaining Pieces

"Why, my lil' ole brain would bust if I tried to think of things like that." When Scarlett O'Hara said that in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, it was supposed to give men the impression that she was a pretty, charming and addle- brained twit in need of male protection. Of course, nobody thinks that the brain will explode with too much information, do they?

Ah, do they?

I sat down today and tried to think of the pressing subjects of the day and the list seemed to develope a mind of its own and just kept going on and on and on. The result was the (admittedly amateur) graphic below. News analyst Rachel Maddow underscored just the political input today by saying that the political picture was developing too rapidly for the news to keep up. I subscribe to seven rss news feeds for my homepage and today I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to take them all in.

And it's not a great day for the media either, if you think about it: all of the subjects seem equally important and choosing what to lead with for front pages, news hours, and talk shows must be maddening.

And then there's Fox News.

The "Dijongate" brouhaha cemented their place in the media spectrum at the very bottom: insipid non-news that fails to justify its existence. Hannity, Van Sustern, O'Reilly, Wallace, Hume, "Fox and Friends" continue to take up valuable airtime and public attention with witless rants and utterly skewed, opinionated "news." The "top videos" on the Fox News website:
For fun, I went to the Hannity piece, part of a segment called "Beyond Belief." (A poor man's Ripley's Believe It Or Not with Hannity playing Dean Caine - quite badly). Hannity was supposed to present a piece on the secret society for our (sorry) illumination, but all he managed to do was to demonstrate how true blue he was to the Roman Catholic Church.

My point? Think of all the newsworthy pieces jamming themselves into our brains today and how they affect our lives. Think of how responsible media is trying to sort it out so that we can digest it better. We can't just throw up our hands in frustration and retreat to a corner and center ourselves on one subject only, tuning out the rest of what's happening to the world.

No, our brains won't explode. Not if they remain reasonably informed on subjects that matter. Not if they are able to consider a multitude of problems presented to them in a way that is FAIR and BALANCED.

Just a thought.

Inside the informed American's mind: