3.28.2009

Is Jon Stewart Our Ed Murrow? Maybe...

From The Nation's Eric Alterman:

It's a sad--almost terrifying--comment on the state of the American media that we have come to rely on these two funnymen to tell us the truth about our country in the same way we relied on Murrow in the '50s and Walter Cronkite in the '60s. But as the mainstream media keep reminding us, albeit unintentionally, the MSM's groupthink is invulnerable to reality. Like the president who remained so popular with them for so long, it literally takes a hurricane and a biblical-style flood to get them to pay attention to events that do not conform to the agreed-upon national narrative.

[snip]

Stewart and Colbert have done yeoman work for the rest of us by exposing the thoughtlessness of the punditocracy's perpetual-motion machine, which spins itself silly powered only by hot air. But the problem goes far deeper. We may have elected a liberal Democratic president and Democratic Congress, but our discourse remains rooted in hardline conservative assumptions. That means the Obama administration--in Iraq, in Afghanistan and regarding so much of its domestic agenda--is constricted by homilies that make sense inside the conference rooms of Heritage and AEI but enjoy precious little relevance to life as it is actually lived by most Americans. Yet survey after survey demonstrates that the majority of people reject these ideological assumptions and embrace a far more pragmatic approach to problem solving, which goes by the name "liberalism."

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