I never have a greater sense of two Americas than when I'm watching public opinion, the whole possibility of public thought, being swamped by pundit opinion. That other America is very tiny, it has onlv a few inhabitants, they all live in Washington, and they never shut up.
Original article here.
My first genuine political thought came when I watched actual gov't sessions on C-Span, without the filter of the Tongue-Wagging Class, and discovered that Newt Gingrich was a real human being with a reasoned and thought-out opinion rather than the bile-spewing misogynistic bigoted homophobic ogre I'd been brainwashed into thinking he was. And once you realize, really realize, that they're lying to you about one thing, the rest of the house of cards comes crashing down.
I understand the impulse that drives it; I'm as inclined to paint people on other sides of political arguments as Evil Nazis™ as anybody, sorta like giving in to the Dark Side ... it's quick and easy and seductive, but ultimately just makes things worse.
It doesn't help that there really are Evil Nazis™ out there, either. :P But with all the shrieking and pointing, it's very difficult to tell which ones they are.
In the time since then, I've met and interacted some real reporters, including being interviewed and then ignored by the guy who wrote the infamous Vanity Fair furries article because I didn't support his "furry = weird sex" conclusion. (Not that Vanity Fair is exactly a standard for journalistic integrity, I know. But I'm not particularly convinced that he was in any way atypical of the profession.) I've also done some digging on various stories and discovered that the line in "The Rutles" seems to apply with startling regularity:
"The press immediately grabbed the wrong end of the stick, and started beating around the bush with it."--Eric Idle, "The Rutles"
Is it any wonder people -- both good and evil -- have such an adversarial relationship with the press?