Monday, March 8, 2010

How to save the under-informed public from itself?

It's easy to overlook what is perhaps the defining factor of the whole US political landscape.  That is, the extent to which most Americans remain in the dark about basic concepts and facts central to understanding whatever issues are being debated.   Daily Howler, a blog, summed up the problem this way:
Why are we constantly under-informed?. . .  When we access mainstream news organs, we rarely encounter work which explains the basic things we simply don’t understand or know. And when we turn to partisan sources, we’re handed simple, pleasing stories which often happen to be untrue. . .

In bookstores, we see lots of books written expressly for us “dummies.” Our view? We badly need a mainstream press—and a progressive politics—which approaches the news the same way.
The Howler piece notes that given the negligence of the press, the president could help to fill-in gaps in the public's knowledge. By the looks of things, Obama needs to put more effort into the "teaching side" of leadership.

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