Wednesday, October 5, 2005

TPMCafe || Gore on the Threat to American Democracy

TPMCafe || Gore on the Threat to American Democracy: ". . . 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.

"And more importantly, notice what is not on: the global climate crisis, the nation's fiscal catastrophe, the hollowing out of America's industrial base, and a long list of other serious public questions that need to be addressed by the American people. . . .

"And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both."

In other words, what if the political storm comes, and it isn't televised? Institutional structures in media ownership and control may have given us George W. Bush and no way to overcome.

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