Thursday, October 14, 2004


Packaging the News

The November issue of Vanity Fair was laying on the sofa this afternoon. I thumbed through the pictures of beautiful women, all looking like movie stars, the perfume and high priced clothing ads and stopped to read an article by Michael Wolff titled The Plot To Sell The News. Wolff argues that the news articles we read in the MSM are not the same because of "liberal bias", but because of packaging. It's "Storifyable!" A story takes on a life of its own, it's easy to tell and it's understandable regardless of whether it is true or not. Some examples are the stories of WND's appearing on the front pages of the major newspapers and countervening articles are buried; or the story of Jessica Lynch, the hero; or one that caught my attention the other day: the story of protestors at Bush's inaugeration and how they forced the Bush entourage to stay in their cars and not take the usual walk through the streets. The press knew it happened, but it didn't get reported in the MSM.
Now what made this even more interesting to me is the idea from my market trading days that when everyone knows something it is already discounted in the price. In other words, herds don't make money!
Now from J.R. Nyquist comes his weekly article titled Talking Up The Russian Threat:
In the real world, as opposed to the mythical world of the sixty-second sound bite, the leading threat to U.S. security is not al Qaeda (an organization with nonexistent oil reserves, spurious WMDs and shadowy cave-dwelling leadership). The main threat to the United States is a large country with thousands of nuclear weapons. As Alexei Bayer pointed out in his Oct. 8 commentary ("Russia off the Radar Screen") for the Wall Street Journal: "[F]oreign policy elites in Washington have been mislead by their own claims and have come to believe that the U.S. is now the world's only military superpower, holding an overwhelming advantage over any potential rival. This is patent nonsense."

One might ask how this "patent nonsense" attained currency? As with all widely accepted nonsense, it was enthroned by that cleverest of clever in-groups - "the smart set." The problem with Washington, and the problem with America in general, is that too many people want to belong to the "smart set." And here is where comedy and tragedy become as one. With sadness I must report that there is no "smart set," and there never was. There is only a dominant herd that demands intellectual compliance as the price of admission. What is genuinely smart doesn't come in "sets," cannot be bottled, packaged or sold to mass audiences and political climbers. Thoughts and ideas that are bottled, packaged or sold to mass audiences are necessarily simple and shallow. The problem with the democratic process is that packaging political "truth" for the masses involves our leaders in dangerous mythologizing. As Mr. Bayer pointed out in his October 8 commentary, "The Pentagon Budget may be larger than the sum total of what the rest of the world spends on defense, but Russia can still incinerate all of the U.S. in about 15 minutes - hardly a condition for world domination by Washington."

Let's not get so carried away with the legitimate war on Radical Islam, that we forget that Communism is not dead. Commentary Magazine has an article on that point: Is Russia Going Backward?
The question to keep asking our politicians is, Are You Doing Everything Possible To Protect The People Of The United States? Well, Are You?
Mover Mike

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Who Links Here
WWW Mover Mike