So, tonight, I was cursed enough to sit through the 20/20 "interview" with the woman who recorded what that old, rich, racist said. Welcome to the end of journalism. Not that 20/20 is a bastion of journalism, mind you, but there was a time it held at least some relevance. Now it is simply another infotainment distraction.
What I should say is the this is the end of journalism on network television. Do you recall the last time anything found on network TV news was groundbreaking, or even relevant? Me, either. I relish every chance I get to open my laptop and read through the missives from numerous sources found on the internet. But, not everyone has access to that. Too many Americans still have to rely on over the air TV and printed newspaper for their news. And, frankly, what they are getting is about as far from news as Beethoven is from Bieber.
These are no longer newsrooms driven by a quest for truth. Their motivation has been replaced by a desire for money. After all, if there has been anything taught to us by the Roberts Court, it's that money talks. It practically shouts. And it has drowned out anything resembling balance, insight, and depth in reporting. Those who do not have access to the internet on a regular basis are left to navigate a minefield of innuendo, fallacy, partisanship, and entertainment masked as news. The cult of personality trumps all.
You want to know what is really depressing about all this? They keep doing it because it sells. Because people continue to watch this tripe. Fox News is an easy target, but the shallowness and misinformation which has become it's bread and butter has been epidemic on the Big Three for years now. They keep airing this completely useless "information" because people are so desperate to escape from their suffocating existence that they are willing to believe that what some actress wore to an awards show is something worth knowing.
But the responsibility is solely upon the Fourth Estate. It is their duty to give us what we need (truth) instead of what we want (escape). As soon as business trumped duty, it was all over. Is this endemic of unfettered capitalism? Probably. Is it characteristic of a society in decline? I think so. Whatever it is, it's wrong, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more!
It is time for action! The way I see to get information to the masses is by supporting municipal fiber data networks. They have the ability to kill the cable monopolies, and deliver information to everyone. Imagine a national mobilization to put in place the infrastructure. Municipalities would not only create skilled jobs to implement and maintain the infrastructure, but also benefit financially from a model that is built on service and the common good rather than profit.