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Well and truly said. As others have said, bloggers rely on old media for our fodder; most of us grab an (old-media-generated) article on a topic which interests us and expand, rant, chase down further data and take it from there. Cohen doesn't seem to grasp this.

You're absolutely right that they want to be players, which is emphatically not what the role of the press should be. "Afflict the comfortable, comfort the afflicted" is the ideal the press should follow. It's forgotten that.


Correct. We are not, and do not aspire to become journalists.

hieronymus braintree

Mostly nicely said.


Re: Cohen

Nicely written sir. However without real journalists, how will we ever find out what's on the Presidents i-Pod?


May I add that in many cases people dare not bring up anything possibly controversial with each other anymore. With the middle gone, conversations with people whose views you don't know can lead to problems that will make life more difficult at home or at work. So who's going to risk making a problem? You may find Rich at work tolerable, but after discussing current events you'll probably either hate his guts or think he's a great guy. I don't know about other people, but I can't afford feeling antagonistic toward many more people. I'm already past my quota.

Jon Koppenhoefer

Well said, and to gild the lily, I shall add the following.

Since 1992, Americans have been surveyed by the Pew Center to determine the sources of information they rely upon and what they know as a result.

Almost without change, from 1992 through 2004, Americans have relied on television, then newspapers, then radio and the Internet as their main source of information about presidential campaigns.

The Pew Center also asked respondents two questions about the candidates in these campaigns. The proportion of respondents who answered one or both questions accurately was inversely related to the source of information they relied upon: television, newspaper, radio, Internet.

That is to say, those who named the Internet were most likely to answer the questions accurately, followed in turn by those who named television, newspapers, and then radio.

The really troubling finding, however, was that at most, 38% of the respondentss got one or both questions right.

More than 6 out of 10 Americans could not answer either question correctly, out of 1500+ who were surveyed by the Pew Center, no matter what their main source(s) of information might have been.

I hear a lot of wild claims about the US being the light of democracy, the font of freedom, blah blah blah, yet well over half of our 'free' citizens remain as ignorant (if not more so) as people on the other side of the world.

And we all have a good idea how low voter turnout remains.

Sometimes I think we're all talking to ourselves in a darkened room.

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