Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nothing New Here, Gore Still Unhinged

In a speech delivered to the The Media Center's We Media conference on October 5, 2005 in New York City, former VP Al Gore expounded on his views of the media's role in public discourse. It's a long, rambling, tiresome speech. I know, what else is new? Some interesting comments, though...

He talked about the "vividness and clarity" with which we (Americans) once talked amongst ourselves over "the problems and choices that we face." He says that "vividness and clarity", long lost, came back for a while in the media's coverage of the devestation from Hurricane Katrina.

I suppose he's referring to the (untrue) claims of tens of thousands of dead in New Orleans, supposedly left behind to die because of the color of their skin. Or the (also untrue) claims by New Orleans' mayor on national television of rapes and murders of women and children in the Superdome. Maybe it's the media's attempt to lay blame for all of New Orleans' mess on President Bush, while ignoring the facts (ooh, how the Left hates those pesky thinks!) that the mayor and Louisiana's Governor failed to act in a timely fashion to save their own people.

Then we get this quote...

Clearly, the purpose of television news is no longer to inform the American people or serve the public interest. It is to "glue eyeballs to the screen" in order to build ratings and sell advertising. If you have any doubt, just look at what's on: The Robert Blake trial. The Laci Peterson tragedy. The Michael Jackson trial. The Runaway Bride. The search in Aruba. The latest twist in various celebrity couplings, and on and on and on.
I have to agree with the VP here. But, here's the thing... Most of the conservative people I know, whether family, friends or through work, couldn't care less about these things. Celebrity goings on, triels, etc. are of little or no interest to most of us. (I'm speaking for my own little circle now, not generalizing for everyone). Most of the people I know who talked about Blake, Laci, Jacko, Aruba, etc. are the same folks I know who read People Magazine, watch Entertainment Tonight and watch or tape soap operas.

They are also the people I know who vote Democratic. They are the people who shape their opinions based on what they hear Barbra Streisand or Martin Sheen say. They think the Dixie Chicks were censored by the government because they spoke out against the President. They celebrity worship, or at least celebrity idolize.

In my own little circle, Gore has railed against the very people who supported him.

Finally, here's a little comment I'm not even sure how to address... is television delivered over cable and satellite that will continue for the remainder of this decade and probably the next to be the dominant medium of communication in America's democracy. And so long as that is the case, I truly believe that America's democracy is at grave risk.
Allrighty, then...