New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've put up a new post on Dangerous Intersection, "The traditional media is dying".This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. … [Read more...]

TV Review: Planet Earth

I recently finished watching Planet Earth, the award-winning BBC nature documentary series narrated by David Attenborough. As its title implies, Planet Earth is an effort of considerable ambition: the filmmakers set out to produce a series that would provide a survey of our world's natural grandeur and biodiversity. To a remarkable extent, I think they succeeded. Of course the full richness of Earth's biosphere could not be exhaustively chronicled, but this series touches on many of the high … [Read more...]

The Keyhole

For much of human history, information was a rare and precious commodity. In pre-literate societies, the collected wisdom of the tribe - when the rains come, when is the best time to plant crops, what plants are best for illness - was passed down in oral format, requiring much diligent work of recitation and memorization. If the only person who knew something died in an accident, that bit of information was lost.When writing was invented, the situation improved somewhat. Now important facts … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've written a new post on Dangerous Intersection, "John McCain bribes the media; the media accepts". Here's an excerpt:In some of my previous posts both here on Dangerous Intersection and on Daylight Atheism, I’ve done my best to call attention to the corrupt, degraded state of most of today’s major news-gathering organizations. But a story I read today is truly the most astonishing example yet - both in the way the mainstream media has totally abandoned basic principles of journalistic eth … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism in the News

I wasn't going to post today, but I was going through my Google news alerts and what do I find:The Daylight Atheism author states, "Over the past several years, I have observed to my dismay the forces of militant religious fundamentalism gaining in strength, both in my home country, the United States of America, and worldwide. This ominous development, driven by those who are dedicated enemies of all the progress and enlightenment that has been achieved over the past several centuries, … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I have a new post up on Dangerous Intersection, "How the mainstream media has failed us". The post is about an essay by John Hockenberry, an award-winning reporter and former correspondent for NBC's Dateline, that's a devastating indictment of the standard operating practices of network TV news. … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, I have a new post up on Dangerous Intersection, "Joe Klein is not a journalist". … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Assault on Reason

Summary: A blistering, brilliant counterattack on the forces that have conspired to undermine American democracy.Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's The Assault on Reason is a passionate, scathing book that paints a clear picture of where America has gone wrong. Our democracy is far from dead, but as events of recent years have shown, it is ill - perhaps gravely so. The appalling levels of ignorance of basic scientific and political facts among the voting public; our heedless and disastrous … [Read more...]

The Golden Mean

When the history of our era is written, there is much that will be said about the failures of traditional, mainstream media organizations. One of the most disappointing is the media's ritualized exaltation of "balance", which in practice means giving equal time and attention to both sides of a debate regardless of whether one side's views are more in agreement with the facts. I wrote about the harmful effects of this ignorant and lazy practice last year, in "The Illusion of Balance".There's … [Read more...]

The Illusion of Balance

The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote freedom of the press into the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights. As their own quotes and records show, they did this because they felt that a free, independent press was one of the most vital checks on the power of government, and the only way to impart to ordinary citizens the information they need to be responsible decision-makers in a democracy such as ours.In the United States of America today, the press has failed that … [Read more...]


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