Of prostitutes and propaganda

The Fraters Libertas draw our attention to the Star and Sickle’s new Reporter’s Defender making use of a sock puppet or two:

“Along with many other readers, I continue to be frustrated with the needless attacks, negativity, name-calling, lying/deceit and general hypocrisy. Your article serves to focus on the cause of our frustration and the importance of supporting a free press. Well done! Please continue to speak out. The public hears the negative messages over and over until they become almost believable. The positive messages need to be repeated just as often. It is so important for the media to speak up and not be afraid to challenge. Our society needs a free press, and it is an honorable profession.” – Nina Buzzell, Blaine

Print media have their own way of undercutting themselves. Time and again print journalists, in their efforts to be “fair and balanced,” present stories as if there were two equal sides. Mostly, however, the world is much more complex and interesting than to present itself in neat, bilateral symmetry on all occasions. Perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of this problem has been the coverage of global warming, which has long been recognized by a very large preponderance of evidence from scientists all over the globe to be a significant, and now rapidly growing, problem. But still we find stories that bend over backward to suggest that it’s still in doubt. – James McKenzie, St. Paul

What’s funny about these two quotes isn’t their high content of equine excretia – for when has the Red Star ever presented two sides of anything – but the fact that the first note is almost surely written by my fourth-grade public school teacher! There’s something more than a little satisfying in the knowledge that one of her very own students is one of the many voices repeating that negative message over and over, and one of the louder voices at that.

Prostitution is a more honorable profession than journalism. Not only are the call girls prettier, but they’re nicer and more intellectually honest.